Is it possible that there is an actor who has played two different characters and has had that character watch himself die twice – in two different movies? Serious question. I don’t even know how to Google that. (And don’t bother; what comes up is for a completely different type of blog). But, if you can find an answer let me know, I love that kind of non relevant trivia.
Over the weekend, Looper was viewed by yours truly – a time travel movie starring Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis – as the same guy. (I know, right?) After 2 hours of strange characters, mind warping chase scenes, and an ending that, while is somewhat predictable, but still interesting, I have to say . . . . BRAVO! I loved this movie! It took me about a day to actually process the concepts that were re-introduced to me through this movie. Suddenly, I was transported back to college, hanging in the lounge discussing the ‘what ifs’ of time travel with one of my best friends.
The story is essentially about a man name Joe, who is a Looper. Loopers are organized crime’s hit men that live 30 years before time-travel is invented. I should mention that time travel is illegal in the future. Loopers are run by a man from the future, played by Jeff Daniels. They are given a specific time and place to be, where a target appears out of thin air, hooded and gagged. They then execute the poor, nameless, faceless, individuals and dispose of the bodies. Evidently, it is harder to get rid of a body in the future, but never really explained why – one of the movie’s few shortcomings.
Now the fun starts… Joe, played by both Joseph Gordon Levitt (younger) and Bruce Willis (older) is a kind of a yuppie hit man. Younger Joe is paid very handsomely for his Looper service, and lives the life of a celebutard. Hard drugs, fast cars, faster women are his life, with a little murder and body disposal to fund it. But, Joe is soon forced to confront the fact that his “loop has been closed”. Wait – what does that mean, you ask? Well, one day, when a hit man ends up knowing too much, and doesn’t have much use left to the organization, the hit man is sent back from the future, to be killed by his younger self (and not willingly), thus – “closing the loop”. This is what happens to Joe.
Joe is now faced with the problem that he knows he has about 30 years of life left. What follows are scenes of high tension of chase and be chased. Joe, having let his older self escape, must now find a way to avoid, not only his present employers, but also find his older self in the hopes that ending his own older life, he can avoid having his loop closed.
Shazzbott! My head hurt, but evidently so does everyone’s in this movie.
See, older Joe, doesn’t know what younger Joe does until a short time before he actually does it. It is then that a headache will clear older Joe’s foggy memory of what has happened. A great concept, that shows the future is not fully written and can be changed, but not really.
Like any good time-travel movie, consequences are propelled forward from younger version to older, and with the pacing of a pretty good action movie.
MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!
Revealed through subplot, Older Joe has actually come back to stop a super-powered telekinetic individual who is responsible for a future genocide. Telekinetic powers are evident in about 10 percent of the human population in the future, but relegated to making quarters and lighters float above your hand in a Criss Angel freaky kind of way. I really liked this weird twist, but wished they would have developed it more since it goes from being a flirting party trick to a HUGE plot point.
Looper is a movie that tries to make you travel into your own ‘what if’ past, while also delivering on an action movie level. Did it have its problems? Sure, but as a sci-fi movie fan, I found so few distracting sequences of events, that I had to give this movie 3 out of 4 blasters.
Also, look for time travel alum, Garret Dillahunt, to show up and start the final scenes of the movie as “best with a Gat” hit man on the hunt for Joe and well . . . Joe.
So, yes, you should go see this movie. Now – Go forth and be awesome!
Cosmic Castaway is a contributor to I’m That Geek, you can follow him on twitter at @CC420, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or read more about his awesomeness here.