Looper is a pretty darn satisfying Time Travel movie which cinema has been lacking the past few years. It’s by no means a perfect time travel movie and it does have some pacing problems but it’s on the right track.
Starring Bruce Willis and Joesph Gordon Levitt who has been Willisfied in this movie which might, in my opinion, put off some female fans.
The film is directed by ‘Brick’ director Rian Johnson who had also previously collaborated with JGL on the same film. ‘Looper’ does start off with some film Noir undertones, particularly with the deep brooding voice over by JGL. I rather liked that and it’s visual style. In some ways it comes off as a slightly lower budgeted SF film but the story concepts are the glue that holds it all together. Near the beginning there was what I thought a throwaway line about people with telekinetic abilities. Rather a pointless addition I thought until midway through the movie we get some ‘Akira’ style happenings thrown at us and i’m smiling at it all.
My favorite part was probably the coffee shop scene between Willis and Levitt. The older version talking to the younger version coming off as a ‘father berating his son’ type of conversation. Excellent. I too probably would bitch to my younger self about his attitude.
Time Travel aspects.
The film would incur many plot holes if we were to accept this as a single timeline that is altered by time travel events. It would better to reason that quantum theory applies and we have here multiple timelines and each character is within their own individual timeline or stream or whatever you want to call it.
Timeline 1: Bruce Willis version. An aged Joe is sent back to be killed. He is killed by the character who will become the older Joe (Bruce Willis). 30 years pass and the day comes when it’s his turn to be killed. But now things change and the character takes matters into his own hands. He decides to escape and in going back in time makes a conscious plan to kill the Rainmaker, a criminal mastermind who is closing people’s Loops.
Timeline 2: Joesph Gordon Levitt’s character’s timeline. The one which we follow in the film. His older version comes back through time, attacks him and escapes to search for the Rainmaker who at this time is still only a child. Joe finds Rainmaker and in trying to protect him Joe kills himself in order to stop his older self from killing the young child who would later be known as the Rainmaker.
Things get tricky here. If we deal with quantum theory then it makes sense that the timeline can be altered. BUT! JGL kills himself in order to prevent his older self from killing the Rainmaker, yet if these characters are from different/separate timelines then the actions the character takes against himself should NOT affect his older self who is related to another younger version from his OWN timeline (timeline 1). So younger Joe’s cuts should not appear on old Joe. Old Joe should not disappear when young Joe Kills himself. If young Joe kills his younger self then his older self never existed to come back in time and cause this whole mess in the first place and so Joe would not kill himself, thus we have a paradox and according to Doc Brown or ‘The Doctor’ the universe might well explode.
Timeline 3: Rainmakers timeline.We might suppose in timeline 1 Rainmaker turns out as is, a complete dick. In timeline 2 he might actually be ok and a calm dude thanks to the interactions with JGL’s young Joe character. But what about the Rainmaker from Timeline 1 of older Joe who was shot by the old Joe we see in the movie. Did the very first Joe have no knowledge of him? Or is this a 3 spin paradox in which we need to pass through 3 timelines in order to return to the first and repeat. Messy….
So much like Quantum mechanics the film itself does have some plot holes. It doesn’t really spoil the enjoyment. I only thought the pacing and some antagonists such as Kid Blue didn’t really work. Kid blue seems set up to just die. Having Bruce Willis kill kids too didn’t really sit right with me. Would someone really go and kill Hitler if he was just a child and hadn’t done anything yet?
Favorite Quote: “Then I saw it. A mother who would die for her son, a man who would kill for his wife, and an abandoned child headed the wrong path.” – Young Joe