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08 October 2012 @ 09:13 am
Picoreview: Looper  

Picoreview: Looper: I’m going to be the one who didn’t like this movie. It wasn’t JG-L or Bruce Willis, both of whom I adore, even if JG-L looks about as much like Bruce Willis as I do. Possibly less, even, even with the makeup (though there were two or three moments in the film where between the makeup and body language he absolutely *nailed* Willis). Emily Blunt was wonderful. I recognize that my really specific problems with the violence are what one might call “trigger issues”, but even looking beyond that, there were too many things that just didn’t work for me.

Major spoilers behind the cut.

Let’s get this out of the way: the main reason I didn’t like Looper was the violence done to and by children. As a mother of a little boy with a mouth full of baby teeth, I *really* had issues with this. They completely lost me when the first kid died, and I hadn’t been real happy with it previous to that. The later violence done *by* the child–look, I know it’s a movie, I know the kid wasn’t exposed to the visuals of what he was acting out doing, but I. Had. Issues. So okay. The movie did not work for me from that aspect at all. At all.

But there was other stuff too. Selling out his best friend, okay, these are not good people, that’s fine. What I didn’t buy was that the torturers could do that much damage to somebody in 15 minutes and keep them alive. Even if it took the future loop more than 15 minutes to get to the location–even if it took a couple of hours–just no. To hurt somebody that badly and keep them alive you would need days, if not weeks. The body would just die of shock, nevermind the damage done to it. And I did not believe that leaving somebody alive in that wrecked state was any different, in terms of changing the future, than killing them would be.

Why did Emily Blunt know what Loopers even were? I kept waiting for it to turn out *she* was a Looper, but no, the story wasn’t that clever. Okay, she hung with the wrong crowd, so maybe she learned about them that way, but given that time travel is used by criminals for very bad deeds, one would think the whole idea of Loopers would be kept pretty hush-hush. So how did she know about them?

I also kept waiting for the big reveal that Young Stupid Fellow with the Colt or whatever his gun was, was actually the young Jeff Daniels. Because why the hell else would Daniels have not just *killed* the young moron? But no. Not that clever.

(I will grant you the whole

“I’m going to France.”
“France? Not China?”
“I’m going to France.”
“Go to China.”
“I’m going to France.”
“I’m from the future. Go to China.”

bit was very funny. The best part of the movie, really.)

And while I recognize that the whole point of the end is that the future is left unwritten, I thought it was a completely flat ending. White-out means “fade to hope”, but…it just stopped, as far as I was concerned. It didn’t finish, it just stopped. And if there were after-credits scenes, I missed them because I was too disgusted to stay and see if they were there to redeem anything.

I just, yeah. Did not like that movie. I think I’ll go watch T2 again. :p

(x-posted from the essential kit)

martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on October 8th, 2012 08:27 am (UTC)
I think I’ll go watch T2 again

you are such a romantic..
Michael M Jonesoneminutemonkey on October 8th, 2012 09:17 am (UTC)
Like you, I kept expecting Sarah to be revealed as a former Looper, and YSF to be a young Jeff Daniels, and was somewhat disappointed by the lack of revelations there. (I had to wonder where the young Jeff Daniels was in this time period, anyway.)

The second Old Joe killed a kid, he and his future timeline lost all claim to sympathy, and I knew there'd never be any sort of peaceful ending or redeeming moment for him.

Not a fan of the way women were treated and placed in very specific roles here. They were all relegated to Mother, Wife, Lover, and/or Prostitute, and Old Joe's Wife never even got the courtesy of a name. It was very telling.

The movie had a lot of things I did like, but the elements that didn't work for me, or which felt off, were significant. I ultimately had to chalk this up to enjoyable yet flawed, by my standards.
kitmizkit on October 8th, 2012 11:20 am (UTC)
I am *utterly* convinced that YSF was in fact the young Jeff Daniels, and that they just dropped the ball or couldn't figure out how to reveal that. I have no doubt at all that it was him.

Old Joe's wife would never have forgiven him for killing a kid, so I flat out couldn't believe he'd done it. I just, yeah. I did not like that movie. :p
Bryantbryant on October 8th, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
I have heard that there's a scene revealing that YSF was the young Jeff Daniels, but that it was cut.
All Over The Mapjemck on October 8th, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
I was similarly waiting for the Jeff Daniels/Young Fool reveal, and also to learn how Sarah knew about Loopers. Not getting either didn't wreck the movie for me. Life isn't tidy. I can live with that.

Old Joe killing the kid *made* the movie for me - anything else would have been a fatal cop-out - and for his motivation, the fact that he'd never had a kid with his wife was crucial, imho, along with the life he'd lived to that point. His wife was everything to him - everyone else was expendable, even a kid. And we did see plenty of anguish before he went through with it.

That was the point I thought, ooh, now this gets really interesting, will it be no happy endings for anyone...?

Women as ciphers? Hmmm, Sarah was making her own choices and doing her own thing - having learned through her mistakes, so I was okay with that. Also, the value of female nurture, even when the going gets really tough, in raising non-psycho-men? That speaks to me as the mother of late-teenage youths.

I liked it a lot. And am content for other opinions to differ, as always :-)

Edited at 2012-10-08 03:59 pm (UTC)
Brienze: feedbackbrienze on October 9th, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
No one else had the desire to go re-read Oedipus Rex after seeing this movie? (Jeff Daniels being a father-figure...)