Time Loops and Blunderbusses
It seems like everything in Hollywood is derivative of book, graphic novel or another film. Looper is the exception to that rule & if you don’t enjoy it for that reason alone, you’re whats wrong with America. With that being said, Looper was great! Looper is a original idea by Rian Johnson which is the guy who basically brought us the lovable acting skills of Joseph Gordon-Levitt with Brick.
Looper takes place in the year 2044 where there are hit men called Loopers that take care the mob’s dirty work. Thirty years into the future, in 2074, time travel has been invented. Time travel was immediately outlawed and is now used by outlaws; so the mob of the future send their targets to the Loopers in the past so they can murder and dispose of the body. They do this because apparently in the year 2074 it’s become near impossible to kill and dispose of body’s because of tagging and tracking techniques. A Looper is paid by silver that is sent strapped on to their victims. Once a Loopers contract is over, the mob sends their future selves back to the to be executed, at which point the silver is replaced by gold & the Looper is now free to live his life but knows that in thirty years, they will send him back to the past to have the same fate. The premise is great! The inclusion of time travel brings a bunch of logic and ethic issues forward. If you had a chance to go back in time and stop baby Hitler, would you kill him or prevent him from hating? Because the fact of the matter comes down to killing a child. If you had chance to go have coffee with your past self, how much would you tell him? As Doc from Back to the Future would say, any changes you make in the past could have a dramatic effect on the present.
About 15 minutes into the film, a new crime lord, known as the Rainmaker, has taken over in the future and is giving orders about existing loopers: He wants all their future selves sent back in time and killed immediately by the younger versions of themselves. Without giving away too much, Joe hesitates to kill his future self at which point is knocked out cold by a gold bar and Future Joe runs out in to the world to find and murder the Rainmaker and prevent all of this from happening. When Joe awakes, he must arrange a meeting with his future self to get updated on their 30 year difference and figure out if they’re going to work together or against each other. Hands down the best part of the film. The witty comebacks and back-and-forth between the two are mix of exactly what you would expect would go down if your younger, more stubborn self met your older wiser self. All this over the identical plates of steak and eggs. The argument could be made that there were not enough of these scenes, but I think here one was the magic number. If there would’ve been any more, the film would suffer from being excessively weighed down. The one meeting expressed everything ones future self would be pissed about and everything ones present self would say in response. The movie was everything but bloated and ended when it needed to.
It didn’t mess with the gist of time travel as much as it could have. The end was a little anti-intellectual, and didn’t really leave the viewer with any but one question that can’t be expressed without spoiling the film for you guys. It does indeed tease your brain just the right amount without digging too deep and making your head hurt. Nonetheless, JGL & Rian Johnson work great together. Highly recommend checking this film out! Hopefully this starts the trend of original films that don’t suck.