And my, there is a lot to ruminate on here. When “Looper” isn’t wowing with its remarkable visual effects, slick style, and electrifying pace, the film also rises to the occasion of being the smartest blockbuster of the year. Big, bold, brainy, and ultimately brilliant, “Looper” is confident filmmaking that knows which targets to set its sights on from the get-go. It strikes them all — bull’s-eye, dead center.
Writer/director Rian Johnson, whose impressive 2005 debut “Brick” was one of my favorites of the decade, creates a landmark science fiction film in “Looper.” This film will accompany discussion of the genre for years to come, possibly even decades.
In its approach to time-travel, “Looper” is as smart and developed as Terry Gilliam’s “12 Monkeys,” with the weighty, futuristic emotion of “Children of Men.” The film has its influences, but sticks the landing primarily for being awe-inspiringly original. This movie is drenched with innovation.
“Looper” has the capacity to floor you, suck you in, and most surprisingly, move you into a meditative state.
Like most great science fiction, the film is layered with subtext, thought, and a lot to say about time, inherent good and evil, and the possibility of change. Many science fiction films have the brains, but “Looper” masters the winning combination of intelligence and heart.