Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Looper Review

Introduction: Imagine you're part of the mob and it's 60 years into the future. Apparently, "Big Brother" tracks every single person so well you can't even murder someone and hide their body. That can't be good for business. So you decide to invent MOTHERF*CKING TIME TRAVEL. But what do you do with such technology? Do you A) Go back in time and start a revolution so that the government doesn't control everything in the future? B) Begin investing money in the past over and over so that in the future everyone is rich? C) Dispose of "problems" by sending them to a point in time when the Earth didn't exist? Or do you D) Send these "problems" to the very recent past where you actually have to pay people to do something you can do for free with relatively less work while taking the chance of horribly f*cking up the space time continuum? If you picked D then you'll love Looper!

Looper: So I guess I gotta define what a Looper is. A Looper is a hit man from the year 2044 and probably requires the least amount of skill of any profession ever. They are hired assassins who kill people from the year 2074. The people are masked and have money strapped to their back for the Looper to collect. The reason they are called Loopers in the first place is because at some point they kill their future selves. When they do so this is called closing the loop. After doing so they are given a large amount of cash to squander for 30 years until they are then found and sent back in time to be killed by their past selves.

Time Travel: When it comes to time travel you have to go 1 of 2 ways; free will or fate. Free will time travel is mainly shown in Back to the Future and teaches us that we control our destiny and thus can horribly mess up time in all it's glory. Fate time travel is mainly shown in The Terminator and consists of time loops that show that even when we try and change things it actually just caused the problem in the first place. Looper tries to be both at the same time AND IT DOESN'T WORK. You can't say that going back in time creates a new timeline while also trying to show how it creates a time loop into this new timeline. No, just no.

The Setting: Before I start ripping this section a new asshole I want to praise it a little first. Holy crap, is this world fleshed out. Often when we see a future sci-fi film centered around a concept everything in society is apparently about this SINGLE IDEA (see: Surrogates and Repo-men). This world is expansive and varied. We have new weaponry, hover vehicles, new ways of farming, and even higher forms of evolution where people have TK! And even more amazing is how the lifestyle of the people mirrors the past. It's brilliant. Now that that's done we can start talking about problems! Yay! The thing that's odd is that the separate periods in time don't really interact. There is nothing connecting them other than the Loopers. And even they are kind of iffy. See in the year 2044 the economy is the worst it's ever been. When I saw this I was waiting for someone from the future to explain that the reason they are sending people in this time was to create jobs and stimulate the economy. Nope, none of that. I was waiting to see how the government controlled everything in the year 2074 and thus stopping the mob from killing people, but this isn't backed up. The mob is still killing people. What the f*ck is the point of Loopers then? Another thing is that in the 2044 future the next generation of TK users are shown to be able to just about level whole buildings, yet in the 2074 future no one can seem to figure out how a guy named the Rainmaker is killing Loopers. Umm shouldn't there be a bunch of people with the power of the Rainmaker just walking around? Speaking of the Rainmaker...

Hitler: So the Rainmaker is this guy in the future who is killing Loopers by killing them when theire contracts says to kill them...ok then... We never see him in the 2074 future and all we're told is that he just wants to kill all the Loopers. But we do get to see him as a child in 2044 and it is then that we are told that the point of the movie is basically "If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you?" Except the twist here is that Young Joe (JGL) is protecting Hitler while Old Joe (Willis) wants to kill him. The thing is though is that in Old Joe's timeline Hitler is just Hitler. It's just who he is. And even in Young Joe's timeline when we meet the kid he is extremely creepy and talks about wanting to kill people. KILL HIM, DAMMIT. Then as Old Joe is about to kill Hitler's mother (who looks like this) Young Joe suddenly decides that even though Old Joe has already created an entirely new timeline just by living this far that if Old Joe kills this woman then Hitler will go ape sh*t. Seriously. It's like a nature vs nurture debate where Old Joe is nature and Young Joe is nurture. Just kill the kid! Oh, and the reason he is so dangerous is because his TK abilities allows him to cause people to explode with a thought.

Old Joe: So in Old Joe's timeline he successfully kills his future self and spends the next 30 years doing drugs and still being involved in the mob. But then at one point he meets a beautiful woman and falls in love. He gets off drugs and becomes a good man. Then suddenly the mob arrives in his home in China while capturing him they accidentally kill his wife. In his anger and desperation he fights his captors and sends himself back in time in order to kill the Rainmaker as a child in order to save his wife. It's a great motivation and really shows how far he is willing to go to save the woman he loves. Bruce Willis actually does a great performance here as he struggles with killing innocent children. The weight of such anguish constantly plagues him. Sadly, since he has altered the timeline simply by surviving the timeline he is in is being altered by his presence so not only is he trying to kill the Rainmaker but also trying to hold onto the possibility that he will still meet his love in this new timeline and be able to live happily ever after. Regardless of the costs.

Young Joe: Young Joe is an asshole, a backstabber, a druggie, and also has a little heart. Joe's story really shows you what this movie is about; redemption. It's about recognizing a problem and stopping it before it gets out of hand. Throughout the film we watch as Young Joe battles the good and bad within him. His bad being the want to kill Old Joe and the good to protect the child. You can see this as in the beginning he protects the child in the field but as time passed he's comfortable in the house and isn't doing this to kill Old Joe but to save this family because he cares. In the end though, he does something kinda stupid. When Old Joe is about to kill the mother Young Joe shoots himself in the heart. Why? Whyyyyy? All he had to do was shoot his hand. Or maybe his leg. C'mon man! It's a noble sacrifice but still. I also must mention Joseph Gordon Levitt's performance as a young Bruce Willis; it's flawless and just perfect.

Conclusion: The premise of Looper is kind of silly and doesn't make a lot of sense. But maybe that's the point. Idk. The movie was fairly enjoyable with memorable performances, a fleshed out world, and PSSSYYYCCCHHHIIIIC POOOWWWWEEERRRRSSSS!!! It had a lot of flaws and issues but the movie is still a good action film with good sci-fi for good measure. After seeing Dredd you should check it out. Oh! And Joseph Gordon Levitt's make-up was only distracting in the beginning, I got used to it later. In case you were...wondering...about...that...