“Time travel has not yet been invented. But thirty years from now, it will have been. It will be instantly outlawed, used only in secret by only the largest criminal organizations. It's nearly impossible to dispose of a body in the future... I'm told. Tagging techniques, whatnot. So when these criminal organizations in the future need someone gone, they use specialized assassins in our present called "Loopers." And so, my employers in the future nab the target, they zap them back to me - their Looper. He appears, hands tied and head sacked, and I do the necessaries. Collect my silver. So the target has vanished from the future, and I've just disposed of a body that technically does not exist. Clean.” – Joe
The year is 2044 and Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a looper, one of a group of specialized assassins who kill people from the future. The main reason they are called “loopers” is because when the mob in the future decides they are done with your business, they track you down and send you back in time to be killed by your younger self, called “closing the loop”. The young assassin is then given several bars of gold (instead of silver), retired and allowed to live the next 30 years or so of his life until that day when he is sent back.
This is the basis for Looper.
However, things do not go smoothly for Joe when his loop, played by Bruce Willis, is sent back. First off, his hands are not tied. Secondly, he whips off the head sack and stares right into Joe’s face – so Joe knows exactly who he is killing. But, worst of all, Old Joe is ready for young Joe. He quickly gets the better of him, knocks him unconscious, and runs off.
Losing one’s loop is about the worst thing that can happen to a looper. Now, not only is the loop a wanted man, but so is Joe. The movie is about Joe trying to catch his loop and get out of trouble with the higher ups. Of course, he is being hunted down at the same time.
We learn that old Joe is back for vengeance. He is after the younger version of a man in the future known only as “The Rainmaker”. Old Joe figures if he finds the Rainmaker and kills him as a child, then his wife in the future will never be killed. You see, the Rainmaker has started closing all the loops. Every loooper in the present is killing off his future self. Old Joe’s wife gets caught in the crossfire. Old Joe has it narrowed down to three children and goes hunting for them. Our Joe goes looking for them, too, knowing he will soon run into Old Joe that way.
When young Joe meets Sarah and her son, Cid, things quickly start to change.
Looper sounds a lot more complicated than it is. It has a very straightforward story, that is easy to follow. There are a few twists, but they do not leave you confused, they actually clarify the story.
The acting in this film is fantastic, especially from Gordon-Levitt. He has down the mannerisms, the voice, and even the soft-spoken delivery that distinguishes Bruce Willis. You will believe you are seeing a younger Willis on the screen. Willis himself, of course delivers a fine performance. Also look for Emily Blunt and Jeff Daniels in this film. Young actor Pierce Cagnon is at the same time adorable and frightening.
Although the special effects are good, what really takes the cake in this is the makeup effects. Artists Jamie Kelman and Kazu Tsuji work their magic to come up with prosthetics and makeup that make Gordon-Levitt look eerily like Willis. There is a scene with them face to face, and you can really see the similarities. The makeup is not overdone, however. I spent the first half of the movie trying to pick out what they had done to Gordon-Levitt to make him look so much like Willis. Add in the excellent acting job that he put in, and you will be amazed.
I would highly recommend this film to anyone who loves time travel, lots of action, and a great story.
This film is rated R for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content.
I purchased this film with my own funds