Monday, 15 October 2012

Review: Looper



The Plot:
Looper tells the story of Joe. Living in the year 2044 Joe is an assassin - in the year 2074 time travel is invented and immediately outlawed. As well as this in 2074 disposal of bodies is made impossible through use of tracking technology.

The 'loopers' such as Joe operate as assassins where people from the future as sent back to them at a certain prearranged place and time so that they can be killed and their bodies disposed of. Loopers shoot their victims, collect the silver strapped to their backs, dispose of their bodies and convert the silver to cash for their payment.

Loopers are paid well and live comparatively privileged lives compared to the rest of the population where it seems that lawlessness and social deprivation are rife. 

There is also a new kind of mutation where 10% of the population has now developed telekinesis - whilst the majority can only levitate small objects the skill is seemingly useless.

Complications is introduced when some of the other Loopers Joe associates with begin to have their loops closed. Meaning that their future selves are sent back to be killed by their younger selves - normally this is a celebratory moment - the looper gets a golden payday (literally) and is considered retired from their duties to live their last thirty years as they please.

However one of Joe's friends,Seth, hesitates, allowing his loop run - meaning that his older self escapes before he is killed which could have dire consequences - as part of the Loopers contract this is a requirement of the job and failure to close your loops results in the death penalty. Young Seth then seeks help from Joe to hide him so that he won't be caught and killed by the manager of the loopers - Abe.

Seth is hidden in Joe's safe and Joe is then taken by Abe's henchmen to Abe to give up Seth's position. Joe has a wonderlust to travel to France for which he has stashed half of his silver. Abe knows this and allows Joe to keep half of his silver if he gives up his friend, Seth. Joe agrees and Seth is taken by Abe's henchmen who scar his body with a message of a meeting place to old Seth. They torture young Seth and gradually remove his fingers and limbs so they can bring the pair together and kill them.

Word goes around the loopers that there's a new boss in the future who is closing all the loops. Joe also hesitates when he sees his next contract as he recognizes his older self. This allows old Joe to turn around so he is not injured when shot in the back as the gold is strapped to his back. He then manages to escape from young Joe with the plan to kill the new boss in the future as a child so that none of the Looper industry exists and he can go back to his life in the future with his wife in China.


The two Joes rendezvous in a café and they discuss this plan whilst Young Joe disagrees that its the right thing to do and suggests that Old Joe could give up his wife in the future and simply never meet her and fall for someone else instead. Old Joe refuses this plan and is insistent that he must go back to his new wife to save her life as she was killed during his capture.

Young Joe then steals a map from old Joe who has researched the location of the child who will become the new manager of the Loopers - the rain maker - who he has researched and found three possible locations for.

Sara is seen slowly and hopelessly chipping away at this old tree stump
Young Joe follows the map and arrives at a farm location where he is greeting by Sara, the child's mother. Young Joe agrees to protect the child from Old Joe who will be arriving at the farm in a day or two. As Young Joe waits for Old Joe to arrive he becomes closer to Sara and the boy. 


When one of Abe's henchmen arrives at the farm looking for either of the Joes we realize that the boy has special, extra strong and equally uncontrollable telekinesis skills and that he must be the Rainmaker. 


Finally Old Joe arrives at the farm with the intention of killing the boy. The boy and his mother, Sara, are forced to flee the farm but they are caught by Old Joe. The boy then uses his power to accidentally flip the car he is in with his mother - to avoid being caught by Old Joe Sara tells the boy to run into the corn fields to escape - standing in front of Old Joe's line of fire to protect her son. Young Joe then realizes that even if the boy does escape from Old Joe he will have watched his mother being killed and as he is already troubled the cycle will continue and he will still go on to be the Rainmaker when he grows up. Seeing no other option Young Joe kills himself, and therefore Old Joe, to stop the cycle of events happening again and again.

What I thought:

All in all I enjoyed the film. It was able to successfully create another world and show us how things could look in the future from another creative perspective.

Joseph Gordon-Leviit was excellent and looked thoroughly believable as a young Bruce Willis although that may have been due to the help of some very clever make up to match up the pairs' facial features. It did feel odd to be seeing him in such a different character than you're used to but I guess that is testament to his acting abilities. 

Although I would have liked to have seen more women in the film who weren't mothers or wives. Why couldn't at least one of the loopers been a woman? And I thought it was a shame that Young Joe and Sara had to end up having sexy times. I couldn't see any reason for it other than a token sex scene and it really added very little to the plot.

Despite the film falling into the genres of sci-fi and time travel I'd still recommend it even if you don't tend to like those kinds of films this is definitely worth a go as it doesn't shout at you and constantly remind you that you're watching science - fiction.

Have you seen it and what did you think?

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