The movie certainly had the star-power that it needed to become something considerable in-terms of a box-office draw, and it did considerably well, garnering around one-hundred and seventy million while at the same time receiving highly positive reviews from critics.
I never really know what to say critical reception. I do know that it should be taken with a grain of salt. Critics are both knowledgeable "aficionados" when it comes to film and dumb-asses.
Even I, Nikolai, shouldn't be accepted as law. It's up to the viewer to decide whether something is worthwhile. Though, continue reading, anyway, if you haven't seen the movie, something might grab your attention...
I didn't actually know much about this movie prior to watching it, I knew the cast, but I didn't really know the premise. That might have made it even more special than it turned out to be. (Keep reading anyway...) I was still reeling from Joseph's performance in The Dark Knight Rises. (His performances in (500) Days of Summer, Manic, and The Lookout aren't bad either.) In-retrospect, by the end of this movie, I think it might have been better than all of those. (And I like those a lot.)
The movie had a difficult story to work with, albeit one that was very unique.
In the story, time travel is invented by the year 2074, and though immediately outlawed, is used by criminal organizations to send those they want killed into the past where they are killed by "loopers".
What are loopers?
Loopers are assassins paid with silver-bars strapped to their victims. The main-protagonist and antagonist of this movie is Joe, a looper, who encounters his future-self after he is sent back in time to be killed. Usually whenever this happens, your older-self is strapped with gold, you kill himself anyone else, you move on with your life, and in thirty-years, you die.
However, this time around, a lot of chaos ensues, not limited to the predictable, but expanded with a lot of things that might not be guessed. (or you might, who knows?) I'll just say that it's got a good story.
One thing that I noticed early-on is that Gordon-Levitt actually looked a lot older in this movie. This is because he wore make-up to have Bruce Wills' rugged expression. It wasn't originally planned for Levitt to be the star of this movie. I have to say that I am glad that they went with him. His demeanor and his antics came across very well, and the only grievance is that I can't see how somebody like Joseph's character could become somebody like Bruce's character.
Bruce did tremendous as well for the record, in-fact, there weren't actually any performances that I can say weren't well-done. The movie had the perfect combination of humor, action, emotion and suspense that the two-hour experience flew by like it was thirty-minutes.
I think that what made this movie so-special is that, in-terms of science-fiction, it's very clever and imaginative, but as opposed to a lot of other films, it doesn't congratulate itself or take the viewer for granted. The movie feels like you were invited on a ride, and not taken on one. (That makes no sense)
It doesn't try to come off as smart, it simply does come off as smart.
A movie that's naturally clever and witty is basically the thesis that I have been trying to get across.
In conclusion, the movie kept me on my toes for a vast majority, and it kept me guessing constantly. I thought it would go one way and it went in the other. It's definitely a film that has a place amongst some of my favorites.