Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

October 12, 2012

In the loop

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:36 pm

October 12, 2012

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano

Director: Rian Johnson

Looper, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as younger and older versions of the same person, is a deliciously complex and fast-paced sci-fi thriller that’s likely to satisfy both, fans of popcorn movies and those seeking more cerebral entertainment.

Set in 2044, the film stars Gordon-Levitt as Joe, a low-level hitman – or a Looper – working for mobsters in the year 2074, who use an illegal time machine to send their victims back three decades to be killed by these hired hands. The killings themselves aren’t elaborate affairs. Joe waits in a remote field for his target to materialize out of thin air, shoots them at close range, and disposes the bodies. Things get hairy when Joe’s latest victim turns out to be an older version of himself, played by Willis. Young Joe hesitates momentarily, giving Old Joe the chance he needed to escape. Now, Young Joe must find Old Joe and kill him(self) before the mob does.

Sure it all sounds like a bit of a stretch, and it is. But director Rian Johnson keeps you consistently on your toes by throwing interesting ideas at you from all directions. He also keeps the action pumping as Young Joe sets out to track down Old Joe, who is himself on the trail of a mysterious 10-year-old kid he wants to kill.

Meanwhile, Jeff Daniels cameos as Joe’s menacing mobster boss Abe, who’s never thrilled when loopers let their older selves escape; and Emily Blunt shows up around midway into the film as a pretty farmer and fiercely protective single mum who takes pity on Young Joe.

Brimming with energy, Looper is many things rolled into one – a chase movie in its first half, a time-travel thriller with nods to The Terminator and Twelve Monkeys, and it even culminates nicely as a bittersweet moral drama. A few subplots remain curiously unresolved, but for the most part this is ambitious, audacious storytelling.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, fitted with prosthetics to look more like Bruce Willis, exudes toughness and vulnerability, while Willis goes for steely determination. Together the two actors form the brain and the brawn of this remarkably original film.

I’m going with four out of five for Looper. It’s a smart film with thrills – now how often do you get to see one of those?

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. This is one amazing movie….i gotta say this is a must watch after long time..

    Comment by rahul — October 15, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

  2. I am really disappointed that you gave 4 star to a predictable and a shallow movie which was essentially a kitchen sink. You let me down because I had been one of your great admirer and always looked at you for my movie taste. I lost a bet with my husband about you giving more than 3 star to this movie. I think Rajeev, you need to slow down and look at the movies from a distance, I hope you understand what I mean. Please rate substance, sincerity and acting..not the hype.

    Comment by Manisha — October 18, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  3. three stars or three & half stars are enough for this movie……i was hoping to see some action in “looper”

    Comment by abhi — October 19, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

  4. Rajeev, I pity that you gave 4 Stars to the movie.
    Its a CRAP movie a Headache.
    Atleast i wont go to the movie you give more that 3 stars hereafter

    Comment by Ankit — October 20, 2012 @ 12:53 am

  5. @Manisha, it’s not for typical viewers who have limited abilities of understanding the screenplay like this movie has… nevermind, you can just stick to your soap opera’s… i am sure that you must used find them very unpredictable 😉 😉

    Comment by sunny — October 22, 2012 @ 8:45 am

  6. It’ s an extraordinary movie, an addition in the list of likes The Matrix and Inception. really glad that you gave it 4 stars, this movie surely deserve this.

    @Rajeev, feel sorry for you buddy… i have an advice for you.. just don’t go for such movies which you are not capable to understand.

    Comment by sunny — October 22, 2012 @ 8:50 am

  7. If Christiphor Nolan’s “Inception” bagged 4 stars from you….this film dosn’t deserve 4….3.5 is generously good.

    Comment by Lynn — October 24, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  8. looper was the worst movie i have ever watched…….waste of money and time…

    0 star/ 5star.

    please dont watch the movie.

    Comment by saravana kumar — October 24, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

  9. waste of money….Rajeev what made you think that looper deserve 4 out of 5

    Comment by Dhiresh — October 25, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

  10. 2/1.5 out of 5

    Comment by Dhiresh — October 25, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

  11. The idea was great. But the story telling could have been much better I thought.

    Comment by Sujith — October 28, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

  12. Wow what a movie . Very good review by u sir

    Comment by Sudeshnu bal — November 1, 2012 @ 8:38 am

  13. A good story flushed down the drain with extremely poor screen play. Spielberg would have made the same story in to an awesome movie.
    Rajeev: Just because a movie is complex does not make it great. Inception & matrix was also difficult to fathom however were awesome movies.
    However i have realised that you give your opinion irrespective of what popular sentiment is. :)…Enjoy.

    Comment by Viraj — November 10, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

  14. Wow…what a chaos here…this was just a touch brilliant movie…those who disliked it are better suited to enjoy and rave about crasses like khiladi 786 and dabangg 2…i am a great fan of urs and regard ur reviews highly…people who made the movie deserve a thumbs-up for sure…

    Comment by Soham — December 24, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

  15. My friend suggested that if there is one person to take advice about movies, that is you.
    And i have enjoyed your reviews of a multitude of flicks so far.
    The tag line “Matrix of this decade” is such an overstatement for something as lukewarm as Looper.
    Although i liked the idea of fuzzy-history concept, but that was the only “epiphany” area in this movie for a regular sci-fi junky. I beg to differ on your idea of how good this movie. I would slam the movie just for being so boisterous as to compare with The Matrix.
    I think it was just a fluke in your judgement, hope to hear more just things from you!

    Comment by Navdeep — January 19, 2013 @ 5:26 am

  16. ** how good this movie is.

    Comment by Navdeep — January 19, 2013 @ 5:28 am

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