Thirty years from now time travel has been invented and outlawed. Loopers “clean up” loose-ends for criminal organisations in the future, by killing people sent back in time and disposing of their bodies. But what if one day future-you was one of the loose-ends sent back for you to kill? Check out my thoughts on the sci-fi action film Loooper after the jump.
Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a junkie, a womaniser, and a looper. He regularly goes into a Kansas field where he kills people sent back by his criminal bosses in the future. Outside of this he takes a lot of drugs, parties hard, and dreams of using his saved earnings to one day get out of the business and go to France. However things change when in the future a new type of criminal overlord shows up. He begins closing the loops, and forcing all the loopers to kill their future selves. Joe to is sent back his future self to kill, however Old Joe (Bruce Willis) is unmasked (unlike his usual targets) and Joe freezes when he recognises him – giving Old Joe enough time to escape. Joe knows he has to kill Old Joe or he will be killed and never get a chance to become him. Old Joe has his own agenda though – he wants to make an alteration in the present to protect the life he has created for himself in the future.
Looper is an extremely ambitious film – there are many complex ideas, some which are fully fleshed out and some (which i won’t mention) are a bit grayer. Time-travel is not an easy concept to explore, and many time-travel films fail because the rules that the film sets are not very well-defined [or adhered too], and the audience becomes confused or story just doesn’t flow well. This isn’t the case with Looper – a film which clearly defines the rules of time-travel at the beginning and adheres to them throughout. Because of this, the audience can sit back and enjoy the superb action and get caught up in the drama – all without losing track of what is going on.
I loved seeing Bruce Willis back in an action role – it really is what he does best. He was excellent as Old Joe, and gave the character the right hard-edge and heart. I also very much enjoyed the banter between Old Joe and “young” Joe, and Old Joe’s thought’s about young Joe’s actions. The dialogue was very funny and I could feel Old Joe’s frustration at his younger self – he had lived Joe’s life already and understood how immature this version of himself still was. I loved the idea of past mistakes defining your future, and how cyclic bad behavioral patterns can be if they’re not broken – this was a theme explored very thoroughly in the film.
Looper is a very smart film. It has great ideas and it executes them well. Apart from some slight pacing issues in the 2nd half (which could have lost 5-10 minutes) and one particular scene which didn’t sit comfortably in the film, I really really loved it. For me the hallmark of a good film is one that you feel that you need to watch again; one that really makes you think. Looper is such a film for me, and I can’t wait to watch it again.
Director: Rian Johnson
Writer(s): Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt
Runtime: 118 minutes
Release date(s): Australia & New Zealand: September 27 2012; USA: September 28 2012