It is the year 2044. Time travel is not possible, but it will be in 30 years. What’s left of America is a dystopian society, filled with vagrants and guns. Joe (Joseph Gordon Levitt) is a looper, a futuristic bounty hunter, who kills criminals coming back from the year 2074. Abe (Jeff Daniels) who employs Joe and other loopers ensures that the loopers only work for 30 years. Loopers have to kill their older selves when coming back after 30 years, that’s called closing the loop. Joe has a chance to kill older Joe (Bruce Willis) but doesn’t do it. Older Joe has moved to Shanghai, gotten married to a woman, (Qing Xu) and is quite happy and wants to stay alive.
Old Joe gives Joe a map with three names, the looper program has been taken over by a man named the Rainmaker, who is involved in mass killing of vagrants and closing all the loops. Old Joe asks Joe to kill the Rainmaker before he grows up to kill masses of people. Joe lands in Kansas, one of the locations where the Rainmaker may be. Joe’s being chased by a looper named Kid Blue (Noah Segan) and fighting withdrawal symptoms from a drug addiction. Joe is taken in by Sara (Emily Blunt) who is a single mother, raising her son Cid (Pierce Gagnon) Does Joe find the Rainmaker? Does Joe kill the Rainmaker before Old Joe comes to Kansas and does it?
This is an excellent movie, it has a Blade Runner vibe, especially the city scenes, minus the robots. There are several ethical/moral issues, which the older Joe doesn’t seem to have a problem with resolving, but at least Joe struggles with it. But it’s Old Joe’s savagery to stay alive, that adds plausibility to the story. This is a very violent movie, on par with The Matrix, I wasn’t quite prepared for the violence, but it does stay within the bounds of time travel, as defined by Back To The Future in regards to the time space continuum. Joseph Gordon Levitt is very good indeed, he gets Bruce Wills’ facial expressions and vocal inflections right, so he does actually look and sound like a young Bruce Willis. Bruce Willis does a decent job with a deep multi-dimensional role, that he really sinks his teeth into. Emily Blunt is very good as the tough mother with a tender spot for her son. She’s trying to raise a son in an obviously bloodthirsty world. The only character I didn’t care for was Piper Perabo’s ubiquitous prostitute character, why oh why does Hollywood insist on a prostitute in every movie? Is it really necessary? I say not in this movie, or most Hollywood movies, but yet the trend continues.
Looper is directed by Rian Wilson who has written the Brothers Bloom, which was ok, but not as good as this. The movie feels a little long at times, some of the scenes should have been shorter, but the action combine with the concepts presented, make this an excellent film.
Looper. I was thrown for a loop, you should be too.