In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.
In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.
With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access one hundred percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.
Joe is classified as a "looper", a job in which his employers use time travel to send men from the future to be killed into the past, where Joe can properly dispose of their bodies. However, to tie up loose ends and erase the evidence of his ever being a looper, Joe knows that one day his future self will be sent back for him to kill. When this day comes, Joe's future self is prepared and escapes, and the two men struggle separately in the past trying to evade capture and attempting to fulfill their own personal agendas.Written by
The scene where Young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls off the fire escape was filmed on the actor's 30th birthday. Gordon-Levitt was left hanging on the stunt wires while the crew sang "Happy Birthday" and wheeled out birthday cake. See more »
Young Joe disposes of bodies, by throwing his victims downwards a shaft, ending up into the fire. The actual body we see ending up into that fire seems to slide horizontally towards the fire, instead of vertically falling into it, given the orientation of the fire. See more »
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 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 him back to me, ...
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The version shown on FX in the US features replacement footage for Piper Perabo's nude dialogue scene featuring her in lingerie; according to Rian Johnson on Twitter, it's also a different performance altogether. See more »
Looper is a film that goes to extraordinary lengths to leave every base covered in its quest to avoid plot holes and inconsistencies and in my mind it deals with the problems associated with time travel very well. One thing I liked is that the older Joe is aware of everything the younger Joe is about to do which gives him an edge if they were to do battle. I also liked that the older Joe in true Bruce Willis style bypasses the whole idea of trying to work out how and why what is happening is happening by saying he can't be bothered to work it all out. As well as the older Joe having the advantage of memory over the younger Joe, the younger Joe in turn has his own advantages which become apparent. There were several times when I thought I'd worked out what was going to happen or what a particular character's arc was going to be but the film cleverly manipulates its audience, leading them down alleyways only to jump out at them from behind and spin them around. There is a nice early twist which gave me a smile and plenty more to keep you guessing right the way to the end. In the end it turns out that time travel plays second fiddle to another phenomenon which I was pleased by as there was no mention of this in the trailer which I've been trying to avoid for several weeks. The plot is multifaceted with each character having their own reasons for being where they are, when they are and doing what they are doing. It is a dense plot which explores several different ideas and concepts both personal and scientific.
As well as confidently dealing with a complex script which would have been very easy to either make too complicated or too full of holes, Writer/Director Rian Johnson (Brick) also creates a very believable future and fills it with people and events which feel plausible. Cities have continued to expand upwards and outwards but they themselves are filled with tent cities in which a large vagrant class live. Life is cheap and hard in this world in which the have's and have not's are much more separated than today. There is enough in the film to make to world feel as though it is our near future and the technology on display feels as though it is a few logical steps along the road. I especially liked the ingenious solution to running cars after the inevitable the oil crisis and there's also a great line about China in there which had a lot of people laughing.
The writing and direction are superb but another strength are the acting performances. Joseph Gordon-Levitt wears heavy makeup and prosthetics to make him look more like Bruce Willis and although this is occasionally a little distracting, it looks unnervingly good at times, especially closer up which is odd. The effect is actually better in close up than when JG-L is in the middle distance. Underneath the prosthetics though Gordon-Levitt delivers a fine performance, adopting a few of Willis' telltale mannerisms and affectations but avoiding pure mimicry. He appears confident and at ease in the dense lead role, carrying off a mixture of hard edged killer and caring young man while switching from one to the other with ease. Bruce Willis equally is very good but we have seen this kind of performance from him many times before. Nevertheless he is on good form here. The chemistry between the two leads was great and really helped with the believability of them being one person. Emily Blunt was another actor who performed very well and in a departure from her more familiar roles. She adopts a convincing American accent, drops a few F-Bombs and looks comfortable holding a gun. She brings to the fore the feminine caring side when it matters though. Probably the standout actor though despite the three A Listers is Pierce Gagnon, a very young child actor who is incredible in a pivotal role. He and Gordon-Levitt have some funny and tense scenes together which work very well.
Overall there was little I didn't like about Looper and it has gone straight into my Top 10 films of the year so far as well as being probably my favourite Sci-Fi since 2009's Moon. It treats its audience with respect and isn't afraid to keep you them of the loop for a while as it teases them with false and sometimes seemingly false information. It is well designed and acted and features a wonderfully multifaceted and intelligent story which rewards patience and concentration with a fantastic ending.
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