It is the case in this age of social media, television, Internet and an unremitting desire to make as much money as physically possible that it’s rare that a film doesn’t come to us with the billing that it will redefine cinema; push the boundaries of how we think and make us wet ourselves with excitement.
2012 has been a year rife with films just like this, be it one film trying to out superhero the other, another trying to out franchise the other or another reboot trying to make audiences cry more than others: we’ve had plenty of films with promises that aren’t fulfilled. Lucky for the disillusioned, Looper appeared as if from thin air to meet every expectation we were promised, and then some.
Looper was pitched as an intelligent sci-fi that would stamp Rian Johnson into the minds of mainstream cinema goers, compete with The Matrix and make us all forget that Bruce Willis was in Sin City; here’s how it managed to meet this exceptional billing and how other films failed to.
1. The Premise
There’s one of these films every year, an intelligent, high budget blockbuster that is billed as the next Matrix. What we often get is something that doesn’t deliver on the intelligence; or something that gets so lost in its own premise it becomes ponderous and dull… Or it’s The Matrix Revolutions.
This film’s premise is both intriguing and intelligent without doing the indulgent dance around its own concept that some films rejoice in doing (i.e. Inception), this keeps it smart and edgy whilst also no stretch to understand if you have an IQ greater than 13. It shirks an over thinking of time travel rules for a quicker paced, character driven tale that its premise enhances, but doesn’t overawe.
Where other films premises fail, this one presents its twist, its edge and uses what that gives the world to help drive its characters.
Where Other 2012 Films Failed:
The Avengers: Central premise was Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. saying nonsensical rubbish and the odd joke until an army showed up for the typical New York destruction scene. Thought it was a lot more intelligent and funny than it actually was.
The Dark Knight Rises: Taking money from the corrupt upper classes to benefit the poor? Sounds like the personal agenda of a 17 year old who read The Guardian once. Was too dreary and preoccupied with piggy backing on the occupy Wall Street movement for the first hour before it kicked in for the final hour and a half.
Prometheus: Committed the sin of finding itself more interesting than it made itself look to other people. Premise was interesting, execution was sloppy.
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