Review: Looper

A fairly engrossing movie with an interesting plot… I have to say that I did find this particular film intriguing enough for me to enjoy it. Unfortunately being the science fiction geek that I am, this film tends to falter on a few key moments / details.

But first thing’s first… the primary character – Joe Simmons – is played by two actors.

Bruce Willis is well.. what you expect him to be. As the thirty years older version of Joe Simmons he possesses that badass personality of “don’t mess with me unless you want to suffer the consequences” that the younger Joe Simmons has in spades. But what makes him more “human” is the small moment of vulnerability when you realize what it is that he is fighting for. What (or rather who) he is trying to save from his life.

The younger version of Joe Simmons as mentioned has that badass personality but is also brash and crazy and sometimes just flies on the seat of his pants… Which is fine by me… As played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt he finds his way towards what the older Joe is working towards but via a different route.

What I liked about these two actors is that somehow you could see how this younger version could eventually become the older version, and yet see the separation between the two. Somehow they found a middle ground so it is believable that they are one in the same that are leading two separate lives. I mean thirty years can change a person in a million different ways.

But when the older Bruce Willis goes back in time with the intent to killing the younger version of whom he calls the Rainmaker so he could save his wife… Well… The traditional laws of physics and time are completely thrown out the window and a whole new set of rules are in play.

And unfortunately in this department I felt that this movie failed… Miserably.

First… what is the premise of Looper:

In Looper, time travel is invented by the year 2074 and, though immediately outlawed, is used by criminal organizations to send those they want killed into the past where they are killed by “loopers”, assassins paid with silver bars strapped to their targets. Joe, a looper, encounters himself when his older self is sent back in time to be killed. The film deals with themes of time alteration, age, love, crime, and parenthood.

Sounds good… got a decently high freshness ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and I actually enjoyed it… so what’s not to like?

Well after some surfing around Screen Rant actually does a decent job of describing what bugged me the most about the movie.

Most time-travel stories are fairly tricky in that there will ultimately be loose ends and loop holes that the audience will find and would try to comprehend. Looper is no different. The major loop hole is ironically the center for which the majority of the movie revolves around: The Rainmaker.

We first are introduced to the concept of the Rainmaker via Seth’s older self. Where he mentions to his younger self that the Rainmaker was “closing all the loops” and then sets out to disappear in hopes to live.

In time-travel theory there are two possibilities:
1) it creates a separate timeline that runs parallel to the original… keeping the timelines in both cases completely separate from one another and one does not directly affect the other… this is working under the belief that for every decision made there is another choice that could have happened and as thus a whole new universe is create due to that other decision.
2) the actions in the past after the time-travel forever alter the course of a singular timeline… thus there is a singular timeline flowing and everything that has happened in the past during time travel affects and alters the future immediately.

Unfortunately in Looper the production team and writers really bounced all over the spectrum when it came to time-travel theory.

At the end of the film… when the younger version of the Rainmaker is found the suggestion is that the events caused by the older Joe Simmons was what turned the younger boy to become the dreaded Rainmaker. However, in the original timeline Old Joe was killed and Younger Joe was able to live out his thirty years until the supposed moment that he was to be sent back in time to be killed… all concurrently with the time that the younger Rainmaker grows up and creates a vendetta to close all loops.

So the question is… how? If in the original time line Old Joe was killed as was to happen… then what events occurred that would scar the younger Rainmaker to want to close all loops?

Unfortunately (or fortunately) that is a story that we may never find out… there are ideas, possibilities and theories… but nothing concrete. Ah well I guess that is what fanfiction is for.