No film can thrive solely on its ideas, on their frequency or complexity, but any can fail solely on them. Looper doesn't quite fail, it just misses its marks, and in several exclusive ways. Rian Johnson doesn't seem to have either the patience or the imagination to establish a genuinely original, fully-formed vision of the future. His vision consists less of a completed concept than of notions and nods towards one - glimpses of a decrepit society, advanced (but familiar) technology, a half-baked dystopia which borrows material from similar films and strands them on the surface of a story in which they have no purpose. The more Johnson engages with his story, the stronger this film becomes, although he could have delved deeper. He's less concerned with the fascinating prospect of a character's conversation with their older self than with forwarding the plot - this such occurrence is, here, skimmed over, and in a pathetically shallow manner too. Oddly, the more conventional storyline which replaces that one is thoroughly rewarding. A subtle, gradual shift takes place, in which Emily Blunt's Sarah and her son Cid assume central roles in ways which I shall not reveal. The less you know about this film, the better, and its surprises are plentiful and most satisfying. As Johnson feels a requirement to temporarily abandon these characters and fulfill his action quota, interest is sacrificed, but there are some terrific scenes towards the film's end which impede the encroaching tedium. Performances range from the excellent (child actor Pierce Gagnon) to the hideous (Noah Segan as Kid Blue) - some cast members even touch both ends of the spectrum. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Bruce-Willis-ifying make-up never ceases to distract, and his character is hindered thus, although Gordon-Levitt does a fine impersonation. Production values are disappointingly standard, but it's good to see that Ikea are still making bedclothes, or maybe ol' Blunty's just a retro kind of gal.