looper

Saw Looper this weekend, it’s about a near future where criminals have time travel abilities. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a Looper and he kills people that the “mob” wants dead, they’re sent to the past where Joe shoots them and disposes of the body. One instance Joe hesitates and chaos ensues.

The good; time travel, it’s got time travel.  The premise is very interesting, considering the film takes place in the near future of 2044, time travel being invented relatively soon.  There’s also a lot of touches with the production design for this world of 2044, which aren’t addressed directly but are just present.  Some examples are the solar power technology, it’s just everywhere, the vehicles are solar converted, and there are panels everywhere, on house and things, a lovely element to make the world believable.

*Possible SPOILERS* Loopers get paid in silver bars, they find these bars on the backs of the people they kill from the future, when they’re “paid out” the bars are gold, this usually means that they’ve killed their future self to keep the mob clean.  Joe encounters Old Joe (Bruce Willis) during one of his assignments.  This is basically where the time travel stops, because now it’s Joe versus Joe.
What’s great about this part of the movie is that two actors are playing the same person, but they’re not the same character.  Young Joe and Old Joe are two different people with different motivations.  Typically when one version of oneself meets oneself they are allies, but here the relationship between the two remains adversarial, bravo for that.
*END SPOILERS*

The ending was very satisfying… and it fades to white.

The bad; it’s got time travel, I know I mention this in the above, but there is very little time travel, it’s used more as a device to get things started, like a red herring.  Once we get into the movie that’s all we get of time travel.  So I was torn on how to feel about it at this point.
On the one hand, I wanted more time travel, that stuff just fascinates me, and then on the other hand, I liked where it was going with the two Joes.

*SPOILERS* We reach the middle of the movie where a plot point is revealed, and it doesn’t feel organic, this kid named Cid possesses powerful telekinetic abilities that are raw and emotion induced.  Young Joe finds himself protecting Cid and Emily Blunt from anyone that might be looking for him as well as them.  It felt like we left the whole time travel hook completely and are now in a last stand sort of movie where Young Joe has to protect the homestead.
Then there’s the “sex scene” that didn’t really add anything to the movie, and it cut before it got graphic, so why have it at all?

Overall, I enjoyed watching Looper.  Got me thinking and talking about it after the movie, but not in a bad way.  Time travel movies are always tricky, this one does a nice job hooking you in and then takes a turn, for better or for worse?  I can’t say, that’s up to you and how much your mind is willing to stretch and work up a sweat.

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