I love good science fiction movies, but it’s extremely rare when you can actually place the word “good” in front of one. If you share this sentiment, then get ready for Looper.
In the year 2072, for reasons unknown, it’s impossible to dispose of a dead body without getting caught. Crime syndicates of the future have used illegal forms of time travel to complete their dirty work. They hire assassins known as “loopers” from 30 years in the past to kill and dispose of their subjects for them in the past, when it was still possible. Each looper is given a specific coordinate where they do their business. Each day at a specific time, a bound and shrouded figure appears out of thin air. With a futuristic short-barrell shotgun known as “blunderbusses,” loopers blasts their marks the moment they appear. Strapped to the backs of their marks are a bunch of silver bars, payment for a job well done. Once the bars are removed, the bodies are taken to an incinerator, often times destroying a body that hasn’t even been born yet.
Being a looper comes with a price. One day, each looper is going to kill a special mark. When he goes to collect his payment, he will notice that the bars are gold instead of silver. This is known as a “golden payday” or “closing the loop.” It signifies the end of his career as a looper. The mark bearing the gold bars is actually a version of that same looper from 30 years in the future. To close all loose ends, the syndicates have the loopers killed 30 years after the golden payday, giving each looper 30 years to enjoy life and blow all that money that they’ve earned. Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays our central looper character Joe. When the day comes for him to close the loop, something triggers his attention and keeps him from killing his future self (played by Bruce Willis). Instances like this terrify the syndicates and usually result in capturing the young looper and killing him, thus destroying the futuristic version of himself from doing any damage in the present. Joe must out-run his peers and hunt his futuristic version to ensure that he is given 30 years of life to enjoy. At the same time, his futuristic version is on a mysterious mission of his own.
Looper is not only a fantastic science fiction movie, but its a fantastic action movie too. It’s smart, tense and intriguing. It contains a few flaws and some content that might not fare too well with mainstream audiences, but there’s no arguing that it is exceptionally well-acted, well-written and well-directed.
Photo credit: Tristar Pictures