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Looper – Dueling Reviews

Review by L.J.

Watching Looper is like visiting Madame Tussaud’s if Madame Tussaud’s lost the mold for Bruce Willis, and, as a bold cost cutting measure, just grabbed one of the myriad Joseph Gordon-Levitt figures they have clogging the basement, recolored his eyes, slapped a couple extra chunks of wax on his face, and set him up in their new Die Hard exhibit.  It’s like that…if Madam Tussaud’s also sported interesting characters, strong writing, and an intriguing time travel plot…and was a movie instead of a wax museum.

I can tell this metaphor has already lost some of you.

The point is this — the film works; as a drama, as an action flick, as a sci-fi story.  Just don’t ever expect to get over how not Bruce Willis Joseph Gordon-Levitt is.  Frankly, all the work they did trying to make us believe these two actors were the same person only made it harder to accept.  It’s like a comb over.  The more you try to cover up your baldness the more we notice how bald you are.  This movie is better than a comb over.  It just needed to believe in itself and cut its hair.

Now I think the metaphor lost even me.  B+

Review by Courtney

Time travel is a hard sell.  I feel like most Americans avoid it because of the inevitable paradoxes.  They will ensue.  And abound.  It’s unavoidable.  The best you can hope for is consistency within the established rules of the universe.  In other words, you hope that the film, book, show, or what-have-you will establish the way time travel works in their own universe and then stick to those rules so that it is internally consistent.

Too often filmmakers ignore the necessity of internal consistency, which is what, by contrast, makes Looper so successful as a film.  Yes, there are still paradoxes, but you can ignore them because everything follows the established rules of the Looper universe.  Hallelujah!

Of course, there’s more to it than internal consistency.  Looper succeeds on many levels.  On the surface, it’s a stylish, often beautiful sci-fi action flick, with solid performances from all the key cast members.  At its heart, Looper is also a compelling character driven story about the events and people that shape our lives.  To all this, add intelligent storytelling, great editing, cool effects and impressive cinematography.  The sum total is a film that is real and fantastical, grandiose and intimate, thought-provoking and fun.  It’s the whole package.  A-


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