So I know it came out over a month ago, but I just finally got the chance to see Looper!
I had heard that it was about time travel and the present and the future crossing paths, and I’ve even heard people refer to it as the Inception of time travel. So needless to say, I was worried that it was going to be really complex and impossible to follow.
Luckily this was not the case at all! It was a pretty complex plot, but it was written perfectly so that you could follow it without getting confused! It’s also an excellent and unique idea for a story.
The year is 2044. A genetic mutation has led to about 10% of the population being telekinetic (“TKs”), which basically just means that they can float quarters a few inches above their hands, a running joke throughout the movie. Thirty years in the future (2074) time travel has been invented, but was immediately illegalized. The economic situation isn’t good and organized crime has taken over. However, it is almost impossible to dispose of dead bodies because of tracking technology. So mob bosses are using time travel to dispose of bodies. They put hoods on and tie up their adversaries and send them back 30 years into the past where their “Loopers” are waiting to kill them and dispose of the bodies.
Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of these Loopers. He goes to a designated spot at a designated time, gun ready, and instantly shoots the hooded men. They have silver plates strapped to their backs for the Loopers to take to live their life with. Joe has been spending half of his silver on clubbing and doping up on a drug that is taken through eyedrops and saving the other half in a safe in his floorboards for 30 years of retirement in France. See, eventually the mob bosses have to get rid of their Loopers so that they can’t be used as evidence against them in the future. Eventually all Loopers will have to “close the Loop.” Their old selves will be zapped back to the past for their present selves to kill without knowing it’s really them until they see the gold strapped to their back instead of silver. They then are automatically retired, can cash in their gold, and live out the next 30 years of their lives however they choose.
A pretty genius idea.
The film does an awesome job of exploring the idea of time travel and using it to do some pretty cool things (for lack of a better adjective).
For example, Joe’s best friend, Seth (Paul Dano) is all set up to do another kill as usual when the target appears from the future singing a song that Seth’s mother had sung to him as a child. He knows immediately that it is his future self and can’t bring himself to kill him, so he let’s him go. He then goes on the run because he knows “Gat Men” (the men from the future who live in the past to regulate the Looper program) will be after him for not closing his loop. When the Gat Men capture the present-day Seth, they use his body to track down future Seth who is still running around in the present. We see old Seth starting to notice scars appearing on his arms giving him directions on where to go. When he doesn’t, he starts losing fingers one at a time, but they are just old stumps because they have been cut off 30 years ago as present-day Seth is being tortured. (They can’t just kill him because that would cause too many ramifications on the future). So eventually future Seth has no choice but to go and he is immediately killed as we see present-day Seth, now missing several body parts, attached to a ventilator to be kept alive for the next 30 years.
I thought the scars, missing fingers thing was just so clever! It’s a really cool idea to explore throughout a movie, we don’t realize what kind of horrible things would come from time travel.
Nevertheless, the same thing happens to Joe when he is all ready to do another kill, but a man appears who is not tied up or masked and he realizes that it is his future self (Bruce Willis). He still tries to kill him, but his future self deflects the bullet with the gold on his back, knocks present Joe out and runs for it. When present Joe comes to, he finds a note from future Joe telling him to run, but instead he goes back to his apartment where the Gat Men come to investigate. He gets knocked out by them and we flashback to present Joe successfully killing his present self this time, and get to see how he lived out his 30 years of retirement. He falls in love and gets married, so that when his time comes he’s not ready to die. He escapes the mob and goes into the time machine without the hood and ties and we see him again zap back and overcome present Joe.
The rest of the movie is an intense battle of who will get there first, as present Joe tries to close his loop and future Joe tries to change the past so that he can keep on living with his wife. There are some hilarious scenes between these two characters, the same man in different times of his life, who hate each other. Gordon-Levitt and Willis are hilarious!
This movie will challenge your mind and force you to think about things that you wouldn’t ordinarily consider. I found it an extremely interesting look at time travel and how people will turn out in the future based on their past.
It is very violent, however, so if that’s not your thing, this probably isn’t the movie for you. (It’s not really bloody and gory, although there are a few brutal moments, but there’s a lot of death and shooting).
Emily Blunt and her son in the movie (Pierce Gagnon) also give excellent performances as they try to protect present Joe from the people trying to hunt him down and help him find his older self. The kid is so good! He’s only 4 years old, but does a wonderful job! The scenes between him and Gordon-Levitt are some of my favorites. Although I hope his parents in real life didn’t let him watch this movie! Haha you’ll see what I mean if you watch it.
So if you like movies that challenge your mind and explore new concepts (and can handle a little violence), I think you will really enjoy this movie. I know I did! And you definitely won’t get confused. From someone who gave up on Inception halfway through and had no interest in trying to watch it again, trust me when I say this movie is nothing like that. It may seem complicated, but it’s followable and definitely worth seeing! Spend the $1.29 at Red Box when it comes out, or try to catch it before it goes out of theaters if this wasn’t the last weekend and you won’t regret it!