"Bruce Willis, You Can Fight Anything ...but YOURSELF!"
It's not that Looper doesn't do this, but that it threads its exposition and "character driven" scenes pretty well together with the guns and blood. It delivers its plot to the audience at breakneck speed, and only gives you just enough downtime to catch up with it...mostly.
I guess what I'm saying is what makes it a successful movie, and makes our drinking game successful as well, is Bruce Willis and Young Bruce Willis (I mean, Joseph Gordon-Levitt). What bogs it down is...everything else.
"Drinker": The Rules
1. Drink for title drops: That's every time someone says the word "Looper". As in one who loops.
2. Drink when they drink.
3. Drink for Daddy Issues
4. Drink when someone gets shot.
5. Drink when someone uses telekinetic powers. Yeah, this is kind of a weird movie, if you haven't guessed.
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Title drops: Drink when someone says the word "Loop".
2. Drink after a scene without dialogue.
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink whenever time travel is mentioned, including whenever you see a watch.
2. Drink when someone's body is altered.
Krissy Pappau: Wants telekinetic powers (Easy)
Pooh Daddy: Thought the hired guns looked like the Hasidic Mafia (Easy)
Big Moose: "Look at how beautiful Bruce Willis is having!" (Medium)
Some Guy: Thinks that child should have died (Medium)
Velma Jenkies: One step ahead of everything (Medium)
Shirley Whiskas: Proves to have a heart of gold (Hard Mode)
Dijan de Nero: Has a heart of silver (Hard Mode)
Disco Sheriff: Drank for exposition. So he drank a lot. (Hard Mode)
If this game doesn't work for you the first time, go back and try again. It's the Looper drinking game!
A Tale of Two Bad-Asses
"Is there a Die Hard Mode for this game?" Shirley wondered.
"Yes," said Big Moose, "It's when you take shots every time you're supposed to take a drink."
"No," retorted Some Guy, "That's Die Easy Mode."
Now, Shirley Whiskas makes a great point: a good actor can save a poorly written character. Emily Blunt is unrecognizable as gun-toting Kansan Sarah, and she makes some wonderfully dynamic choices. She's interesting to the point where we almost don't see how weak of a character she is.
Sarah is a weak character disguised as a strong character. The first time we see her, she's holding a gun and threatening Young Bruce Willis (we find out later the gun is filled with rock salt). She's desperate to protect her young son from the world, but the more we see her in action the more we wonder how she lasted this long. She gets captured twice, trips herself up at least as many times, and (on an unrelated note) boinks Levitt completely out of nowhere.
I don't resent Sarah for being weak. I resent Sarah because the movie set her up to be strong and failed to deliver. It seems to take for granted that she has a personality or any motivation beyond protecting her son and her home, and only gives us any proof of its existence in a half-hearted way. Sarah has a monologue where we learned that she was a party girl before she had her child, but this monologue doesn't add anything to the story or help develop her character. It just hammers in the point that she, like Levitt's character, made some stupid decisions and got in trouble at 22 ("Oh God, we're old people," Dijan de Nero lamented). Everything we feel for her character comes from Blunt's performance, not the character's circumstances.
Because (and this is the kicker), Sarah spends so much time trying to love her child like a mother and be loved by him the same way that she fails to realize that Sid is a raging psychopath.
"Psychopaths have plenty of emotions," countered Some Guy. "SOCIOPATHS don't have emotions."
I have to side with Some Guy on this one. Sid is a lunatic. He's an angry little kid who goes off on a dime and has questionable control over a huge amount of psychic power. Sarah had to make herself a bunker to hide in when he gets riled up; that is the extent of the damage he causes. He is a child who grows into a meglomaniac who kills hundreds of people. His general sense of creepiness isn't helped that the child actor, like Dakota Fanning before him, does not act like a child but rather a tiny adult.
Looper is at its core a movie about the lengths that people will go to protect what is important to them. But to aid this thesis, it states that all it takes to heal a troubled soul is the love of a good woman. Bruce Willis was a lost cause until he met his wife, who got him off drugs and gave him a home. Sarah is convinced that if Sid is loved and supported, his violent tendencies will go away. While it's true that love and affection are necessary for a human's development, love is not a cure-all, and to say so is incredibly dangerous. Love just can't help some people. It's sad but true.
The final shot of the movie shows Sid's resting face after Sarah has tucked him into bed. The camera lingers on him, but it's unclear exactly what it's telling us. Is it assuring us that all is well, or giving us pause? Will Sid go on to become the Rainmaker after all, or will this change in his story bring about peace in his tiny little body and put him on the path towards making good?
It's unclear. And that is exactly the way that story should end.
What's most unforgivable about Sarah and Sid, to tell the truth, is that they're boring. This movie has an interesting premise helped along by top-notch filmmaking and quality actors. You think it's something you've never seen before, until the entirely cliched plotline of "save a doomed youth" is brought up and the whole movie is dragged down. These two characters keep the story from becoming something great.
Drink for lens flare
The Disco Sheriff is a filmmaker, and he pointed out the atrocious use of lens flare all throughout this movie. "You can't even make lens flare naturally anymore," Velma Jenkies added. "You have to add it in." It's a good base rule to add to easy or medium mode.
Drink for exposition
While the movie is very good at delivering explanations, this movie feels like it has a lot to explain. Whether it's through voiceover, through dialogue or a simple statement of intent, drink. Drink drink drink.
Drink for funny moments
This movie is actually pretty funny. And not unintentionally, either. These moments of good humor help buoy the film when it starts to sink.
For Your Inebriation is written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). Video footage is taken by Pooh Daddy (Vincent Graham) and edited by Seb (Amy Yourd). All "Looper" images are owned by TriStar Pictures and Film District.