Time travel shenanigans in “Looper”

Dan Lancellotti
Assoc. Arts & Culture Editor

Time travel doesn’t exist yet, but it will in 30 years in the year 2072.
Time travel is illegal, but organizations send people they want killed back in time to be killed by people called Loopers. Joseph Gordon Levitt (Joe) plays one of these Loopers and Bruce Willis plays the same character 30 years in the future.
The organizations need to close the loop so they send old Joe back in time to be killed by young Joe. The organization gives young Joe enough gold to live out the rest of his life in luxury.
He lives for 30 years, but he knows at some point he will be sent back in time and be killed by his younger self.
When old Joe is sent back, he escapes and young Joe tries to chase him down. At the same time there is a member of the organization, played by Jeff Daniels, that runs things in the past.
He can’t have two Joes running around, so his only solution is to kill both of them.
What follows should be a thrilling chase movie where Jeff Daniel’s character is hunting both Joe’s and young Joe is chasing old Joe.

Looper tells the complicated story of time travel.

It’s a complicated plot, but it can be followed well enough.
However, the movie goes in a completely different direction and half of it takes place in one location.
It becomes more about the characters as the film progresses and goes in directions you wouldn’t expect.
At one point in a diner, young Joe asks old Joe about how the time travel works. Old Joe dismisses him, saying that it doesn’t matter.
This is basically a shout out to the audience where they acknowledge that time travel is complicated. If you think about it enough, there may be some plot holes or paradoxes.
The director, Rian Johnson, wants to enjoy the movie and realize that time travel plays a key element in this movie, but that’s not what it’s all about.
Joseph Gordon Levitt was given prosthetics and makeup that made him look like Bruce Willis, who plays his future self.
The world building in this film is decent as it is supposed to take place in the year 2042.
There are hover bikes which are used frequently and people have developed a telekinesis power. They can float small items but that’s about it. (This plays a part later on in the film.)
The world in which the movie takes place is dark and violent but more could have done to flesh out the world.
What is great aboutb the Joes’ is the dynamic they share. They hate each other, and while they are the same person, they are two entirely different people.
They are both selfish and want to accomplish their own goals no matter who is hurt by it.
Young Joe just wants to kill old Joe, but old Joe can’t kill young Joe because it would cause him to die. Old Joe wants young Joe’s help as the future is a terrible place and he thinks he can fix it in the past.
Throughout the film it’s hard to tell who is the “good guy” and who is the “bad guy”.
It’s easy to change sympathies as each Joe makes decisions that you may or may not agree with.
This filmmaking keeps you on the edge of your seat as the characters change and grow throughout the movie.
Director Rian Johnson had previously directed the movies Brick and Brothers Bloom as well as several episodes of Breaking Bad.
He’s a young director who has the potential to do some great things in the future.
This movie is a good first step. It’s innovative and could possibly be compared to Inception in its originality. It’s not based off a book, a comic book, toy, board game, or remake.
It’s an original movie, and those are few and far between.