Directed by Rian Johnson
Time travel: genius invention, but tricky. In Looper we see Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis fight each other while they are in fact the same person, yet from different periods in time.
Making science fiction movies about time travel is a tricky job. There usually is a 50/50 chance of getting the good movie you expect. Take for example movies such as Back to the Future and the Terminator. Their counterparts, Back to the Future 2 and the Terminator 3, can be considered unfortunate failures.
What makes this such a good movie then? Director Rian Johnson has managed to manoeuvre past this question. Although Looper is considered to be one of those wicked science fiction movies, there is truly more to it than just infamous time travelling. The time travel has been coated with an intense storyline, well layered characters and finely executed action scenes.
The story takes place in the year 2044. The gap between the rich and the poor has widened even more (good rhyme). Joe, played by Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises), belongs to the upper layer of society. He is a well paid ‘looper’: an assassin who executes criminals that have been sent from the future. Joe lives an empty life though as he is addicted to some kind of drug and he is all alone, only being able to dream about love and going to Paris. When young Joe must kill old Joe from the future, he hesitates, consequently leading to old Joe (Willis) escaping in the past world.
Looper is built on thin ice: any change in the past affects the future. That makes the audience pay attention to even the tiniest details. Yet there haven’t been made any major mistakes that would affect our understanding of the story. Everything fits perfectly well together.
With Gordon-Levitt’s crooked smile and a prosthesis to look more like Willis, Looper offers one of the best cat-and-mouse games in a movie that I have ever seen. It also succeeds in in raising some vital questions we all have in daily life.