Looper – review

Despite confirming my suspicion that Rian Johnson is a mediocre auteur who should really hire a writer, this is infinitely more enjoyable than his subsequent efforts. Perhaps that’s because a film based on ideas and action-thriller editing ensures we’re never dwelling on the fundamentals of the script for very long. Even then, the plotting is both overstuffed – telekinesis, time-travelling hitmen, the would you kill the Hitler child problem, alternate pasts, to name a few of the concepts it crams; and underdeveloped – plot points get rattled through or introduced on a whim, key devices they rest on get lampshaded, something it never convincingly gets away with. But for all those problems, I was still hooked from the start. It grabs your attention like all good thrillers should – including a gruesomely original torture sequence – and rides out its weaker moments to a far neater resolution than it let on. If Johnson could stick to making potboilers, as opposed to the brand of plodding TV-drama he’s fast making his own, cinema would be all the better for it.

B+

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