Star rating - 3/10
Well - no sooner have I found my film of the year so far in Killing Them Softly, than I find my turkey in director Rian Johnson's time travelling fiasco Looper. If you loved sci-fi thrillers such The Matrix, or The Terminator series, then look away now - this is not a patch on them, despite the great reviews.
The plot is convoluted and confusing to say the least, not to mention totally implausible even within its own futuristic construction. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, who lives in America in 2044, and occasionally travels in time to take part in dodgy activities for a crime syndicate. Time travelling itself is illegal, but assassins such as Joe, known as 'loopers', are hired to kill the crime barons' enemies, safe from detection in the past. They receive rich pickings for their murderous deeds, in the shape of gold and silver bars conveniently strapped to their victims' backs. But the loopers have to pay a heavy price for their pact with the devil; they eventually have to kill their future selves to erase all trace of the crimes.
Trouble starts when a looper pal of Joe's accidentally lets his older self go instead of dispatching him, much to the displeasure of the gang leader. And if all this is sounding confusing, then believe me I am doing my level best to describe the plot, it is extremely ridiculous and difficult to follow. Joe's older self is played by Bruce Willis, in his usual gun slinging all action role. And apart from the plot deficiencies, the audience have to stretch their collective imagination to the point of breaking to see how Gordon-Levitt and Willis are the same person, even with the ravages of time and the use of heavy handed CGI touch ups.
Then in comes some love interest for Joe in the shape of tough girl Emily Blunt, who is making up for abandoning her son as a baby by loving him unconditionally now, despite his alarming tendency to break out into Exorcist like rages at frequent intervals. I think the film is supposed to be disturbing at this point, but it was all so ridiculous that the audience I watched it with was finding it more hilarious than haunting.
So to try and sum it up - Looper has some good action scenes, and decent acting, but plot holes like craters, is confusing, and hilariously bad - go and try it by all means, if you like that sort of thing.