Tapley isn’t as much of a fan of Life of Pi as Thompson is, and Thompson is a much bigger fan of Silver Linings Playbook than Tapley. But they’re too polite with each other. They won’t let fly. We’re looking for a little “incredulous parking garage rage” action.
Wells to Tapley: Looper does not “kick ass,” as you say at the end of your podcast. As I said on 9.6, “It’s a highly imaginative sci-fi action thriller in the Phillip K. Dick mode that’s a little too enamored of its originality and imagination, I feel — certainly more than it is enamored of being propulsive or thrilling.
“The biggest disappointment, for me, is that the great haunting concept of an older guy (Bruce Willis) being able to give counsel to his younger, stupider, less wise self (Joseph Gordon Levitt) has been almost completely ignored, and that’s really a shame.
“And Levitt’s made-up, CG-fortified Willis face is weirdly unformed and gets in the way of any potential investment. We all know what Willis looked like when he was costarring in Moonlighting and their faces, his and Levitt’s, just don’t match or seem even vaguely from the same family or country, even. The effect doesn’t work. Johnson should have cast Willis in both roles and CG’ed and de-aged him for his younger-self scenes.
“Boil Looper down and it’s just another violent whammy-chart actioner, albeit with a novel time-travel premise. The whammy chart thing is oppressive. It really feels as if someone shoots something or someone every seven or eight minutes, and that this is happening because the software insists.”