Obviously, contains massive SPOILERS if you haven’t seen the movie already.
So, this week I went to see Looper. Since it’s being billed as the new Matrix and getting 5 star reviews across the board, I had high hopes. Perhaps inevitably, I came away a little disappointed.
For a start, and I know I keep banging on about this (but hey, I’m not going to stop) I found the portrayal of women pretty problematic. Set in some mysterious future where feminism never happened, the only visible women fit neatly into male fantasy stereotypes: the tart with a heart, the selfless mother (a former party girl redeemed by motherhood, no less, although still channelling that brave frontierswoman who is lonely and strong but still just ripe for some lovin’ from that mysterious but manly stranger) and the younger, passive, redemptive wife (tapping into some charming ‘Orientalist/Geisha fantasies, too – Bruce Willis’ wife didn’t even get a line. I can’t help feeling she’d have stuck in his memory a little more if he’d remembered a single damn thing she said to him). Seriously, couldn’t we have had a handful of female Loopers, even if they were just in the background?
The film was also massively derivative, and though it had some great touches – the mix of widespread poverty and elite wealth, the repurposing of the everyday (the battered old cars with solar panels, for instance) – it felt like a patchwork of other movies, especially since much of the action took place in the Generic Future Nightclub (clearly the one franchise we should all be investing in now, since that’s where the money will be, no matter what future you envisage).
But even leaving all that aside, the basic idea seemed riddled with problems. Now, it very well may be that I simply missed key salient plot points (I’m the first to admit I can be quite dim about these things) but I’d be grateful if you could answer the following questions…
The whole Looper idea seems fraught with unnecessary risk – if you can’t get rid of bodies in the future, why not at least kill them there (where you can oversee it) and send the corpses back for disposal?
If you can materialise the victims in different locations – Seth and Joe worked different spots, so presumably the other Loopers did – why not just materialise them direct into a furnace, or river, or volcano? Why not send them to a desert, or back to the age of the dinosaurs when they’d really be out of your way?
Why get Loopers to close their own loop by killing their future selves? Surely that had to be an idea that someone questioned as having inbuilt issues. Why not send the future-self Looper back to a different Looper anonymously – no one would ever know, you’d cut the pay offs, and you’d eliminate the whole ‘maybe I don’t want to kill myself’ risk.
Back to body disposal: if it’s problematic, why so blasé about killing Joe’s wife? How come the Rainmaker is wiping out whole neighbourhoods with impunity – don’t tell me there’s no bodies left there?What was with the central loop sequence where Bruce Willis died?
Why let future Loopers live for 30 years? Why not 10? Why not 15? Why not quietly off them the minute they retire rather than give them time to plot?
When cutting up Seth to get his future Looper, why go so far? Sure it made for a great sequence, but given that they can’t kill him without messing with the future, haven’t they just committed to keeping what's left of him alive for 30 years? Think of the medical bills! Couldn’t they just have cut off a couple of fingers to send a message then locked him in a room?
Why was Kid Blue so keen to track down Joe n Joe? Surely, with Abe and his crew dead the smart thing for an ambitious boy to do would be stay in the club and take over the scene?
If Abe came from the future and took over the city, why, when he was cornered by Joe in his room, was the only protection he had an overturned table and a normal gun? Bad planning for a crime kingpin, surely, especially one who could have sneaked at least a couple of pieces of future tech back with him…
“I’m from the future. LTrust me, learn Mandarin.” – C’mon, people, that’s a 2012 joke. You’re telling me by 2044 everyone won’t already know Mandarin?
So – do I have a point, or is it just me?