The year is 2044. Joe is a Looper, an assassin paid to kill targets sent from the future – the year 2074 when time travel has already been invented. All’s well and dandy until Joe finds out the mob from the future is closing the loop on assassins, sending their future selves back in the present to be killed.
I love time travel movies, when they’re done well, and Rian Johnson (the director) didn’t disappoint me. Much.
Joe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is given the time for his next target. Everything’s supposed to go according to plan: the target appears in the present, the looper kills him, cashes in the silver strapped to the victim’s back and goes on his merry way. This time though, the target is future-Joe, played by Bruce Willis. Present-Joe freeze giving future-Joe time to escape. And so the chase begins.
The premise is that future-Joe came back with a mission, that of finding and killing the little boy who will turn out to be, in 2074, the Rainmaker – the feared mob boss who’s sending back loopers to be killed and who killed future-Joe’s wife. Only he doesn’t know exactly who this child is, all he’s got are three different possibilities.
Both JGL and Willis did a good job acting their given roles, if at times going over the top in their performances. As an example, see the diner meeting scene.
The two characters who stole the show, for me, where Sara, Emily Blunt, and her kid Cid, played by Pierce Gagnon, who’s one of the kids future-Joe has on his list.
Emily Blunt gave a stellar performance as a badass mother who will do just about everything to protect her child. The fake smoking scene was great and her best line, in my opinion, was: “If you do show your face here again, I will cut you the fuck in half”! Oh, Emily, you were fantastic!
And the kid, man, the kid was just as good. Pierce Gagnon gave a frighteningly good portrayal of a kinda sweet, kinda creepy, totally deranged little child. Perfection.
I was very excited when I saw Piper Perabo in the movie because I really like her as an actress. I thought to myself: “How did I miss her in the trailer?”. Unfortunately, it seems as though her only purpose was to appear in a unnecessary nude scene. She did play a miiinnnor part in the plot, but meh.
Jeff Daniels, as the future man sent to the present boss, had a couple of really well acted scenes and provided the movie with some smart dialogue and one of the very few moments of comedic relief; “I’m from the future, go to China”, he tells Joe when the latter insist he wants to see France someday.
There are two storylines, that of present-Joe and that of future-Joe. We get to see what would have happened if present-Joe had killed future-Joe on the spot, how he would have spent his next 30 years and then circle back to the moment of teleportation (?) to the past.
Even though you need to leave logic, physics and the realm of all things possible at the door, the time travel aspect was handled rather well and made for some very cool, very interesting scenes, especially the future/present torture scene from the beginning of the movie. Smart and awesome!
Looper’s world is a bleak, grey and dangerous one. Ten percent of its population, for unknown reasons, has the TK mutations, telekinesis. I actually enjoyed the settings and sets very, very much. They create a certain atmosphere from which the movie benefits and that works perfectly with the premise.
What I really liked was that Looper shies away from giving many explanations and lets a lot of things to the imagination of the viewer. For me, the ending was left open to interpretation.
Now, why did I say Johnson didn’t disappoint me..much? Because the first half was brilliant, while the second half of the movie dragged ass! Yeah. This didn’t need to be two hours long, it just didn’t.
The ending comes back full circle and gives a very imaginative, smart conclusion, but next to 40 or so minutes spent fucking around on a farm, it just didn’t have the same impact and felt rushed.
Nevertheless, Looper is still one hell of an enjoyable movie and I recommend you watch it.