It’s no secret among people who know me that Back to the Future is my favorite film. The concept of time travel has always fascinated me across all mediums. That being said, time travel movies are abound with flaws, and, much as I love it, Back to the Future is no exception. Wouldn’t people in the future have remembered Marty interfering in the past? How would this affect their future selves? Wouldn’t your past self being killed kill your future self immediately? These issues are addressed in Looper, a smart and exciting time travel film that gets things (mostly) right.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in one of his best roles to date as a looper named Joe (what’s a looper? Watch the movie!). His future self, played by Bruce Willis, is sent back for Joe to kill, but things go awry and Willis escapes, endangering Young Joe’s life and threatening the future of the world. Next unfolds a tale that explores not only time travel and the affects it has on an individual but also the themes of parenthood, good vs. evil, and love.
Perhaps the greatest part of Looper is that it makes mistakes. I know how strange that sounds, but, considering the fact that time travel is a difficult subject to cover properly, this film succeeds in making a film that, for the most part, follows the rules of time travel without over-complicating things. Unlike in Back to the Future, time travel in the world of Looper, while illegal, is not accessible to only one person; it asks the question, “what would time travel be used for if everyone knew about it?” and envisions an answer that is both thrilling and slightly disturbing. But that’s the fun in it!
I don’t want to go too in-depth (mainly because it’s been a while since I’ve seen it and don’t want to get things wrong), but Looper is an all-around great film that features fine performances from Gordon-Levitt and Willis. There’s action aplenty, but it also contains plenty of quiet, contemplative moments that make you question the true nature/cause of evil and the consequences of the decisions we make.
Rating: 5 (out of 5)
MPAA: R – for strong violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug content
*MAJOR SPOILER; don’t read unless you’ve seen the film*
P.S. – Because I love time travel, I love pointing out mistakes in time travel films. Looper‘s biggest flaw is its ending: if Young Joe kills himself, then the Bruce Willis Joe never would have existed, which cancels out the entire film because Old Joe wouldn’t have been around to travel back in time. Just a fun error!