Looper (2012)

Looper (2012)

Director: Rian Johnson

In the year 2044, there are no flying cars. Admittedly, there are motorbikes that hover, but they’re totes unreliable. Most people drive the same cars as in 2012. And realistically, that’s what the future is going to be like. How much have cars actually changed since the 1950s? Likewise, antihero Joe dresses like a guy from the 1950s, with slicked back hair and a leather jacket with a tie, because 2044’s trendy movies are bringing back the retro.

Another thing they don’t have in 2044 is time travel. That was invented 30 years later, but immediately banned by meddlesome government bureaucrats. The only people who use time travel are criminal gangs looking to dump corpses where they will never be found – the past.

Joe is a “looper” – his job is to wait at designated drop-zones for unfortunate peeps to arrive from the future, and execute them. Eventually, every looper will receive the unwelcome gift of his future self, who must be shot. The downside is that this looper will now know he only has 30 years to live. The upside is that his future self will have died with dozens of gold bars strapped to his back. As Joe says: “Enjoy the next 30 years!” The cardinal sin for a looper is to “let your loop run”, which causes a giant clusterfuck and is generally a bad idea.

Since I come from the future, I know what happens at the end of the movie, but I’m not going to spoil it for you. Should you go watch it? If you’re even remotely interested in sci-fi, yes. There’s action, graphic violence, constant twists, and complicated time travel plots that make you scratch your head but still understand what’s going on.

There were only two things that grated with me. Firstly, the movie was a little slow-paced at times. Secondly, and more jarringly, the way Joe went from ruthless self-interested killer-for-hire to selfless hero in the period of roughly three days was totally unrealistic.

That said, the movie was very entertaining, and I was absorbed and fascinated throughout. Definitely worth watching. Gotta put on my shades, cos the future’s so bright.

4 / 5 stars
This article first appeared in Issue 27, 2012.
Posted 5:59pm Sunday 7th October 2012 by Callum Fredric.