I just saw and am still pondering the movie Looper. Spoilers below.
In terms of a premise for a time travel film it was great. The feint of time travel was used as a device, but was not given so much presence in the film as to be totally about time travel itself. The story was about people, and as a watcher of anything with sci-fi attached I was pleased to view a film where the sci-fi was front of mind, but also not dominating.
The plot would not have been much changed if the source of the feint was religious belief, or even just a conflict involving a far off place. The “future” served as a lever for believable passion and motivation.
The handling of time travel was exactly as I expected, it was an acknowledgement in the script that sometimes time paradoxes are created and unavoidable, there is not much which can be done. Scratch any nerd and you’ll find a preference for how time travel stories should auto-magically resolve themselves. In Looper we see several timelines (ie. when the Old Bruce first meets young Bruce), and that is a point of internal consistency in the story (or is that stories) as the film presented several different streams of time as a tool to explain the fact that causality is always not logical, nor is anything predetermined. I liked that.
In terms of production is was well put together. Given that the director was working with a rather big name in Bruce Willis and that the production was high quality and also high expected delivery – it was a great job well executed. A stand out was the beginning establishment of the film, where the viewer was either going to accept or reject the concepts outright, in Looper they were easy to accept.
The handling of old Bruce vs young Bruce was good too, with delicate touches about hair loss and the Willis squint being reproduced well. It cannot be easy to match two actors together, and both male leads did a great job. Gordon-Levit did most of the stretching but then that also makes sense as effects would sit better on him (I think).
Would I recommend the film? Yes, especially to a sci-fi fan. That said, I expect more than a few geeks to dislike it too, due to personal issues with the pace and staging of the film. This was a story driven film where action was certainly present, but it also needed moments of introspection and thought to carry the characters, and I can see some folks disliking that. This is also a film where a non-sci-fi person could see it. It is far more accessible than Primer, or most heavy stuff I like like Star Trek et al.
Could I pick holes in the story? Yup, if pushed, but then I can only think of one time travel film which didn’t have holes (does everyone love 12 Monkeys as much as I do?).
I do not want to pick holes in Looper as I enjoyed the film, so I won’t. It’s worth your cash.
Rating 4/5, maybe a bit higher, but I’d like to watch it again before I ramped it up more.