" It's dark. It's intense. It's disturbing. And there's rarely a moment that allows the viewer to just sit back and breathe. Digesting and exhaling will have to wait until the credits roll. "
Director: Rian Johnson
Studio: TriStar Pictures
Tagline: Face your past. Fight your future.
Release Date: September 28, 2012
In the year 2072, time travel will be invented - but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a "looper" - a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) - is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good... until the day the mob decides to "close the loop," sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination.MY TAKE
If you’re the type of moviegoer who prefers light-hearted movies that allow you to check out of reality and disengage the brain for a couple of hours then Looper is not for you. It’s dark. It’s intense. It’s disturbing. And there’s rarely a moment that allows the viewer to just sit back and breathe. Digesting and exhaling will have to wait until the credits roll.
I enjoyed it. But I don’t particularly need sunshine and rainbows all the time. I don’t always require a happy bow to tie a film at the end. We figure out early that Looper is a film on a tragic discourse. The characters are pure evil at worst, morally ambiguous at best. Even Joe – the film’s main protagonist – is a man who places the value of money above that of friendship and human life. The story’s framework is built around the concept of assassin’s killing – in cold blood – people sent to them from 30 years in the future. What’s happy or uplifting about that?
But amidst the film’s bleak, fatalistic atmosphere, there’s an interesting moral dilemma presented for after-movie discussion: to what lengths would you go to right what you perceived to be a very bad wrong? Now, let’s add an extra element to that: if you could go back in time to prevent a wrong from happening, would you?
It’s similar to the age-old question, “If you could go back in time and kill Hitler as a child, would you? And would that be an acceptable action?”
Watching Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) wrestle with the conundrum of whether or not he can kill his future self (Bruce Willis) would’ve been satisfying enough, but the film cranks the story up a notch by giving the future Joe an extra mission to pursue on his trip back to the past.
I’m not going to say much more because this is a film that’s best watched with as little info as possible. It’s intense from beginning to end, and it kept me engaged until what I perceived was going to be a bitter end. But it’s not a film for everybody. Let’s face it; time travel movies typically cause headaches if you think about the paradoxes long enough, and Looper is no different.
This is a film that requires your attention, and it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. I’d go ahead and recommend you make plans for ice cream afterward. You’re likely gonna need a pick-me-up.
P.S. The young actor playing Cid – Pierce Gagnon – does an excellent job. Not only does he do a good job of expressing a great deal of emotion, but he impressively forces a variety of emotions from the viewer as well. Well done, kiddo. You creepy little thing, you.
ODDS & ENDS
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in Women in Trouble with Josh Brolin who is in Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon.
Rated R for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content, is not appropriate for children, mama, grandmama, your Sunday School class, or anybody who's easily offended. There's quite a bit of profanity - 25-30 f-bombs, several s-bombs, and others mixed in. The Lord's name is also used in vain quite a bit with approximately 10 G-d**ns. There is also brief female nudity, including female dancers in skimpy outfits. The violence level is high and sometimes graphic.