11 Reasons “Looper” Isn’t Your Average Action Movie

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The other night, I went to see the film “Looper” with my wife. Despite the awkward title, the movie blew us away with more complexity and depth than either of us expected.

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[Spoiler Alert: I reference character turns, plot twists, and relatively unknown information to those who haven’t seen the film. If you still have yet to watch it but don’t want to lose the surprise, stop reading this now and come back it after you’ve seen the movie!]

After seeing the promotional trailer for it about a month or two ago, it seemed like a cool concept for an a mediocre action movie. Some of our friends, who had seen it already, highly recommended it. So we went into the theater anticipating an above-average action movie with whole layers not even referenced in the theatrical trailers.

After reflecting on the film for a day or so, here are some of the aspects that make “Looper” far superior to typical, forgettable, and shallow action movies.

11 Reasons “Looper” Isn’t Your Average Action Movie

  1. The characters and their motives were complex, more than bland, one-dimensional performances.
  2. The futurist/science fiction persona of the film exhibited, but didn’t overexpose viewers to time travel. Although time travel was central to the story, it wasn’t overused. The process was only shown once, but in such a way that it massively propelled the plot.
  3. Bruce Willis’ character does what he does best: guns, blood, and a stone cold glare.
  4. The film incorporated social commentary on how minority groups (i.e. mutants) are perceived and treated, without being too preachy (this is important).
  5. The plot was suspenseful. A good story, like this one, has multiple possibilities for the ending but doesn’t give anything away too easily.
  6. As a brooding futuristic Western, many of the characters’ wardrobes were stylized to specific periods without being ridiculous.
  7. The film kept me thinking about the characters, the dilemmas, and the deeper questions buried within it for days.
  8. The protagonist battled himself to the death (figuratively and literally). This externally displays the most essential part of a story: how does the character change internally?
  9. The ending scene is so heavy with revelation. The protagonist realizes that everything is connected, and he is part of the problem.
  10. The film didn’t shy away from a few really brutal, heartbreaking scenes. They are jarring and graphic, but not without purposely pushing the story forward.
  11. A few perpetual questions emerge from the various subplots: How far would you go to save the one you love? Is it morally acceptable to destroy something/someone for the “greater good?”

“Looper” delved into the conundrum of time travel, the sci-fi world of mutant humans, and questions of human morality. The conflicts presented in the plot blossomed into multi-dimensional dilemmas. The subplots wove different genres (sci-fi, drama, action, dystopian future, organized crime, futuristic western) into a strong film. The biggest impressions from “Looper” emerge out of the human desire for love, and reveals just how far some people would go to preserve it.


What do you think of the film, “Looper”?


Read more about my thoughts on pop culture:

11 Reasons Why I Loved “The Dark Knight Rises”

The Gospel According to Macklemore

The Gospel According to Mumford & Sons

3 responses to “11 Reasons “Looper” Isn’t Your Average Action Movie

  1. Finally saw Looper. Interesting movie and perspective. I am left wondering, at the end, when Sarah was stroking the now dead Joe’s head and they cut to a view if young Cid’s head… Was there a hint that young Cid was another loop of Joe or possibly Joe and Sarah’s love child?

  2. I loved that without hesitation, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was ready to kill himself to break the “loop”of destruction his future self was making and his child self would have gone on to make the minute he realized it was himself.

    When he made the realization, he didn’t hem and haw or continue to think selfishly of himself in that present state. He thought of his future selfs and other people.

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