I love time travel films and was nervously looking forward to this one. I hoped it would be good, but was expecting I might be disappointed — time travel stories can be a letdown if not handled correctly. I saw one negative review that indicated the second half was worse than the first so I went in anticipating that, but I found the opposite to be the case.
The first half sets up the time travel gimmick: mobsters in the future send people they want killed back in time where “loopers” are waiting to shoot them (apparently completely vanishing bodies in the future is “impossible”). While interesting, there are just too many unanswered questions (Why not kill the people and just send back the dead bodies?) and it had too much exposition.
The second half is where things get better. The tone does change radically from action to more cerebral activity, and I can see that some may not like that, but I felt that was the better story. In particular the plot about killing the children presented a fascinating dilemma: if you could go back in time and kill Hitler as a kid would that be morally okay? I really liked the way the film set that up and solved it.
Overall, it’s a two-thumbs up film for me, but it’s not perfect. It’s uneven and there are some confusing moments. I still have a few questions about some aspects of time travel that were never answered (or deliberately ignored). The entire premise is a bit weak (Something as powerful as time travel is used exclusively for murder?), but it’s probably one of those times when you need to suspend your disbelief and just go with the flow. The performances are terrific, especially Emily Blunt and the kid. Definitely a “go see it.”