those of you who think that rian johnson’s LOOPER is just ‘another’ flick in this year’s sci-fi slate and is on par with the scrappy reimagining of TOTAL RECALL can simply kill yourselves. because, apparently, LOOPER is much more than you could possibly imagine. it is SOMETHING ELSE. I guess after the BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY, people are in need to see a fresh, original idea on time-travel. and here it is. it comes in form of rian johnson’s provoking, enigmatic and — more often than not — mindfucking LOOPER.
LOOPER is set in 2044 where criminals take over the streets of US and bureaucracy no longer takes place. above them is an even larger criminal underworld syndicate whose main income comes from killing off people who come from the future via time-travel. why? because in the year 2073 time-travel is invented and is deemed highly illegal for anybody to use. that’s why the kingpins from said year send those they want to kill to the past. these killers in the year 2044 are called ‘loopers’. they are tasked with direct, close-call assassinations of future beings. this is where joe (joseph gordon-levitt) comes in. he’s a highly skilled and stylish looper whose carefree lifestyle leads him into a dementia of imaginary bliss and pleasure… until he finds his future self sent to be killed by him. this act of finishing off these loopers’ own future selves is called ‘closing the loop’. that way, the criminal syndicate they’re working under will no longer have any business whatsoever with them. they have 30 years before they’re sent to the past to be killed by their very own past selves.
it’s a rock-solid sci-fi concept from the man who brought us BRICK. it spins the head off new genre fans and giving them something bombastic yet still delivering some fresh ideas for old-school sci-fi geeks. everything in LOOPER’s dystopian universe is staged out so perfectly and neatly that you’ll wonder from which source material johnson based the flick on. well, as a matter of fact, IT IS an original idea concocted from the synapses of rian johnson. the time-travel depicted in LOOPER is not a miraculous thing to do. it is, instead, portrayed as a risky act that has too many dangerous chain reactions. as realistic as it may seem, the presence of telekinesis-powered folks are also featured in it. i like how johnson avoids the typical future-crimer idea by twisting around audiences’ initial conceptions about time-travel by creating a very thoughtful theory about it that never fails to make sense. with most major scenes taking place in the countryside, LOOPER has this uncanny old-school feel despite its given theme. the action sequences, too, are very reminiscent to those of classic sci-fi greats.
time-travel and the future are not merely gimmicks in LOOPER. they also serve as tools that convey relevant and often touching emotional subtext that would be noticed by the more punctual viewers. both joseph gordon-levitt and emily blunt succeed playing the leads. their characters, whose actions are done by their own different personal motives and reasons, are fully fleshed out they don’t feel like copies of past sci-fi protagonists. every character has their own reasons. it’s in the character development department LOOPER wins over my heart. the presence of bruce willis will also appeal to old-school action fans while they may be immediately turned off by the brainiac theme offered by LOOPER. but yes, seeing gordon-levitt wearing layers of make-up so as to resemble mr. willis kind of disconnects me a bit from the flick.
LOOPER is certainly not your typical good guy vs. bad guy kind of tale. expect, instead, a thought-provoking emotional journey wrapped in a perfect coat of science fiction.
with that in mind, you’ll have the most out of LOOPER. and it will work like a huge pick-me-up for the brain.