I finally managed to watch Looper on new Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, it was such an indie movie that it never played anywhere locally, so I missed it in theatres (which I hate). It was an amazingly good movie, but as I went back to read some of its reviews, the word “confusing” comes up quite a bit.
But that confuses me. Because there is nothing that confusing about the film. It’s about time travel, one of the oldest tropes of science fiction. If that confuses you, you probably should go back to watching Nick Toons with your kids.
So what’s it about? Looper is about a world set in the not-so-far future. Time travel has not been invented yet, but it will be 30 years from the movie’s setting. And in that future, mob bosses capture and send folks back through time where guys, known as Loopers, shoot them dead. It’s an efficient way to carry out assassinations because there’s no body in the future to discover and in the present, even if the body is found, it’s someone who does not yet exist.
But there is one caveat to being a Looper, in 30 years time, the loop has to be closed. So the assassin is sent back through time to be shot, as well.
See? Simple stuff. Those critics who are confused should probably never watch Doctor Who. Could you imagine how River Song’s timeline would perplex them?
The story centers around a Looper known as Joe, played both by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. I’m a huge Gordon-Levitt fan, and found his take on Bruce Willis to be very accurate, even uncanny at times. When he ages into the older Joe (Willis), it seems so seamless and natural, you tend to forget they’re two completely different actors. I actually thought it was interesting that the film’s creators decided on that route, rather than doing prosthetics and make-up to age Gordon-Levitt.
There’s so much more to the story and why Old Joe runs when he gets sent back to close his loop. He’s attempting to save the world, but more importantly, save the woman he loves. The younger Joe is selfish and cannot understand such motivation, so although they are the same, they are worlds apart, as well.
The future world that Looper presents is dystopian, with litter lining the streets and vagrants everywhere. The cities are filthy and full of people who use eye drops to get high.
All in all, Looper is a great film – it’s one of those you just can’t take your eyes off for fear of missing what happens next. The ending is expected, although it’s shot in such a way as to still have some dramatic impact.
Just don’t watch Looper if you don’t understand science fiction. Save yourself the trouble. Otherwise, go see it now. It’s available through most video on demand services, as well as on DVD.