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Review Looper (2012): Highly overrated!

genre: science fiction, action, thriller

Looper is presented as this decade's Matrix. To brand a film with such a promise is pretty ballsy especially when it doesn't even come close to the brilliance of that film. I remember watching The Matrix and the impact it had. It was easily one of the best cinematic experiences in my life. Looper is just above average and very forgettable if you ask me. Since I am really struggling to find those special classic moments and scenes or depth that according to hype should be present.

I did enjoy Looper. Let me make that clear. But it is not a memorable film at all. For that the film was too generic and empty. The issues presented barely made it worth wile to care for the characters. There wasn't a real social commentary or some philosophical angle that was being explored. The world that is presented to the viewer is very contained and far from epic. Say what you want about The Matrix, at least it was epic and very ambitious in all the elements that it touched (even if it was incredibly flawed and a little pretentious). Now I have read comments on forums claiming the same about Looper. But that is just grasping for something that is not there. Sure you could think of all sorts of theories explaining some plot elements and events but why should you since no real incentive is given to do so. For example the time travel element. The viewer has to assume it is possible and that it is forbidden in the future. Only a happy few (gangsters) get to use it to dispose bodies since apparently that can't be done in the future. Why? How? And what exactly is this future like that they would care about that? Because in one of the future scenes featuring Bruce Willis they don't seem to have problems killing people and leaving the bodies. Nor is the time machine itself explained. One would think someone who had such a device could put it to better use than simply dispose bodies. These are rather crucial plot details that need to be explained but of course are conveniently left unanswered. So it is asked of the viewer to simply accept these facts and suspend disbelief. Well, I don't have real problems with doing that provided these unexplained details don't come to haunt you later. Which in my opinion it does. A lot is implied and not shown. And what we are shown is so ambiguous that people come up with the strangest theories to make sense of it all. Except there is nothing to make sense of since there is no real interesting mystery to speak of. At one point it looked like they were going Keyser Soze on us with the introduction of baddie The Rainmaker who we don't get to see in adult form. A super villain who works in the shadows and is to be feared. Which could have made things super thrilling. If not for the fact that The Rainmaker himself is kept off screen. We are introduced to a child who one day will become The Rainmaker. The kid actor is phenomenal. At such a young age to have such a range is incredible. Through him we get an idea how dangerous The Rainmaker will be. However the solution given to remedy the situation is one that will make you scratch your head. It's a solution where again something is implied without showing the true result. People can call that intelligent. I think it's a cop out. Because it is left ambiguous. So it is up to the viewer to decide or imagine what will happen next. I don't like it when a film maker does this. Because you never know for sure what his real intention is. I think a good director will tell us, this is how I view it and here are the arguments why I think that is. Such a statement will make me give it much more thought as opposed to someone who leaves it open for different interpretations. Why would I even bother to waste my time of giving it thought if even the director doesn't take the effort to do so. I have seen people drawing time lines and all kinds of theories and all those people simply make me laugh. By doing so they give the film more importance than it deserves. I keep reading people saying Looper is so thought provoking. To which I ask myself, what thoughts? What exactly is so bloody thought provoking in this film. There isn't a single event where the audience is really confronted with issues that matter or have that impact on me. All the events were pretty small in scale. Maybe if more info was given of the of the world and the people who live in it. A little context would have done wonders. But let's for arguments sake say that my thoughts were provoked. What else is there to be enjoyed? I personally was not that impressed by the action or the style. Looper was bearable because of the good acting and the initial premise. Too bad the plot or it's execution was too thin for me to get excited about. The pacing was awful. It starts compelling. But at times when there was a hint of build up in tension it too often slowed down considerably making me lose interest. How can that be a good thing? I am afraid Looper is an example of a film so hyped that people are starting to believe all the positive things said and spread by the marketing experts. And once part of the hype are afraid to admit that Looper is not a masterpiece like it is claimed.   

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