In the not so distant future 2044, “Looper’s” exist to provide an execution service for a more distant 2074, where time travel has been invented. Undesirables are sent back in time and Looper’s effectively erase them in the future by killing them in 2044.
Bodies cannot be disposed of in the far future without paperwork, it’s much easier to “outsource” your killing to a time where life is cheap and the administration overheads are less.
One such Looper is “Joe” (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), he drives out to a deserted field for his 11:30am appointment, spreads out a sheet to prevent a mess. Hooded person appears, “Boom” with his Blunderbuss, collect silver sent back as payment, dispose of the body and repeat.
R and R constitutes getting high with a hallucinogenic drop administered via eye drops. The world Joe inhabits is not pretty, thumping nightclubs, hobos and lawlessness pervades in the streets, it’s a dystopian nightmare with a capital D.
Joe does not have buddies as such, this is not a business where you make friends, the one he does have creates a pivotal turning point early in the film.
When the criminal bosses in the distant future want to “close the Loop”, the Looper himself is sent back to be executed by their youthful self. They arrive complete with a gold bar bonus, signifying their time is up, they then have thirty years in which to enjoy their booty before they get sent back to be eliminated.
Joe and the Looper team realise that a lot of Loops are closing and times are changing. If a Looper lets an execution go awry and they have a runner on their hands, this is not a good result for the Looper or runner, a very bad situation indeed.
Tasked with ensuring compliance in 2044 is “Abe” (Jeff Daniels), sent back through time to make sure the space time continuum does not get messed up, he rules through fear and ruthless enforcement.
When the older version of “Joe” (Bruce Willis) is sent back to be erased, this proves to be a catalyst for a series of events that throws the messy but orderly status quo into chaos.
The story is strong, at times difficult to follow but does unravel slowly to provide a worthwhile and believable world. Time travel in movies is notoriously difficult to pull off, as one character says, “if you think about it too much, it will just fry your brain”. However, just when you believe that the Director and Screenwriter Rian Johnson has painted himself into a corner, he manages to pull off a satisfying conclusion.
There is considerable violence, although not wholly gratuitous. Many actions that would have added to the carnage are shown off screen, the film also flirts with a movie taboo, certainly for Bruce Willis to carry out the actions he undertakes, is a very different path for him to travel.
There are times when you forget that you are effectively rooting for the bad guys, there are no good guys. Whether the Loops are being closed for a higher purpose, which may become apparent by the films conclusion, is open for debate. In fact, this is a film that is made for Internet discussion, theories will abound and may prompt further film visits to this world in the future.
If there is a moral, in a world with none, it perhaps asks how far would you go to have, experience and even remember the life you wanted. Would you kill to protect it and if so, who would you sacrifice.
The acting is of a high standard, Levitt, Daniels and Dano excel. Willis is an older version of the Willis we know, although his scenes with a younger lover do stretch the boundaries of good taste a little. Levitt looks physically different due to the prosthetic he wears, to make him appear similar to a younger Bruce Willis.
Emily Blunt adds another solid character to her resume as Sara, sexy, strong and with her young son Pierce Gagnon, scarily good. The film borders on light horror in later scenes and certainly some images and intent may be considered disturbing for some.
Any film that is not a sequel, is largely original and makes you think, is to be treasured. This movie because of it’s complexity, does introduce several “realisation” segments, that delightful moment where a piece fits into place. Much like “Sixth Sense” but taking a much less big bang “Twister alert” approach, a film to misunderstand and then slowly comprehend, like “Memento” rather than a “twist” as such.
Certainly the audience reaction was stunned silence, at this viewers showing at the Multiplex.
A Sc-Fi treat that blends the best of the genre (Inception) but comes up with something fresh and original with excellent performances and a cracking story that will permeate long after the credits roll.
Not to everyone’s taste due to the subject matter but for those that enjoy a good Sci-Fi thriller, mixed with a chase movie with tinges of horror, this is as good as it gets.