Time Travel is never an easy concept to execute. There are always rules to abide by, when using time travel, so crafting a story around it can often be difficult, especially if the executor wants to avoid plot holes. Suffice it to say, Rian Johnson’s Looper is one of the most successful time travel movies ever made. That’s not to say that its a subpar movie in general, because it’s quite amazing.
The plot, without going into too many details, centers on Joe(Joseph Gordon Levitt), a hitman in 2044 USA(they’re called Loopers) who works for the mob of the future. That’s right, Joe specializes in killing people from the future – one’s that are sent back in time so they can be killed and disappear without a trace. Joe is very good at his job – firing a shotgun upon those unlucky enough to spawn on his tarp located in the middle of a cornfield. Early in the movie, however, Joe is presented with a hypothetical: “What would happen if you saw yourself?”
Unfortunately for Joe, this is exactly what happens. Only, in a moment of inexplicableness for Joe, he stops and stares at himself from the future. Then he gets a gold brick thrown at his face and is knocked out…by himself. And so begins the adventure of Looper.
If there’s one thing about this film that it should boast it’s originality – not only does Looper has one of the most fresh concepts of recent time, it also has very clever plot conventions. The film is not at all predictable, instead focusing on the human aspect of sci-fi and time travel: how would a person react to seeing themselves? Could you kill a baby, knowing it would grow up to become an evil person? Looper answers all this and more with a sense of bravery. It’s the new kid at school, geeky yet smooth and smart and all around badass; unafraid of its surroundings.
The film has got some great performances. Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis both have to sell the fact that they’re playing the same character, while including traits that better represent their respective ages. Levitt wears prosthetics and makeup to look like his older counterpart, and for the most part, it works! It helps prove that makeup is actually there, and therefore better than CGI. Bruce Willis is great here, he’s angry and funny and gives his character enough pain so that we can feel for him. That’s another great thing about this movie, we are able to feel for both main characters, even though they are opposed to each other. How can we not, though, after all they are the same person.
There are some great supporting performances here as well, from Emily Blunt to the tough as nails farm girl,(whose true character and motives I don’t want to spoil here) to Jeff Daniels, who is superb here as Joe’s tired and frustrated mob boss from the future.
The effects, script and actors all brilliantly come together to form an immaculate film that director Rian Johnson should be proud of, especially after two other brilliant movies by the names of Brick and The Brothers Bloom. It’s highly original and all around a fun time for those looking for something fresh and new. Though, be warned, the film is very violent. So those looking for a time travel movie akin to Back to the Future Part III should probably go in expecting more of a 12 Monkeys.
Critics score(according to Rottentomatoes.com): 93%
My Score: 9/10