The presence of Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and original stars Bruce Willis, Powers Boothe, Jessica Alba and Rosario Dawson gel nicely. The hard boiled characters and narrative are terrific, violent, sexy, extreme, brutal and seductive, but strip away the visuals and creative flourishes and truth is you're left with some rather dull stories.
Looper doesn't just rest on engaging characters and dialogue though and the action scenes walk the line between slick and cool gun fights and visceral horror gore and violence. In an early scene when another old looper avoids execution, the methods used to bring him to 'justice' are horrific and more at home in a slasher horror.
Concluding the Nolan Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises does not have the element of surprise inherent in Batman Begins and had to follow the near-perfect The Dark Knight. To its credit, it almost succeeds blending state-of-the-art direction techniques with astounding action and poignant moments of character.