Time travel can be a tough sell to have in an action/science fiction movie. Looper has grand aspirations as it tells the tale of an assassin or Looper who works for the mob from 2072. The send their targets back in time to have them killed 30 years previously. Time travel movies can be confusing if you make it too high brow or scare off the audience that are concerned that they won’t understand.
Bruce Willis plays Old Joe in 2072 who is a Looper, targeted from the mob that employs him and sent back in time to be killed. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe in 2042, still a Looper, who kills people sent back in time, until the day he’s supposed to kill his future self and things go haywire.
Looper is an amazing movie because it spells out this potentially confusing story in a way that you understand perfectly. It’s complex, but it tells a story full of twists and time shifts with a sense of glee, black humor and creative photography. The dialogue crackles giving Willis some of the best lines he’s had in years.Sure, you’ll think, “what if the character did this….”, but that’s half the fun of movies that involve time travel.
The movie seamlessly blends future-tech in an approachable way that isn’t fanciful or too distant. 2042 isn’t too far away and the set design reflects it with a sense of steampunk future tech.
Looper is the rare movie that energized me after I saw it. I got that same feeling after watching Mad Max: The Road Warrior and Memento. It’s a movie that is so original and well done that you want to go back in time so that you can enjoy watching it for the first time again. Rain Johnson wrote and directed Looper and deserves all of the credit for delivering a masterpiece to audiences that want original movies.
This is also one of those reviews where too much of the movie’s plot can’t be told. There are so many twists that if you know some of the other characters or what Old Joe is trying to accomplish it will compromise how you enjoy the film. Looper is easily the best movie of the year for me so far. To go a step further, Looper is one of the better movies I’ve seen in a decade. It will blow your socks off; see it on the big screen.
Looper is rated R for some nudity, coarse language and graphic violence. It’s not for the kiddos by any stretch of the imagination.