The pitfalls of time travel have long fascinated audiences and film makers. First there’s the transportation aspect, just how would you get a human body across time? And then there are all of the situational issues, often of particular interest, how does one’s older self interact with the younger one? Yesterday, this column reviewed “12 Monkeys,” a time travel film starring Bruce Willis that was released in 1995. The actor must enjoy this plot set up because he appeared in another, more recent time travel movie, “Looper,” which came out in 2012.
“Looper” stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe, a hitman from the year 2044. He is part of a group called “loopers.” They kill people who are sent from the year 2074, when time travel has been invented, but is outlawed and only practiced by professional crime syndicates. One day, he is assigned to kill an older version of himself (played by Willis). Joe hesitates, and his older self escapes. Older Joe has learned that a young child, Cid, will be involved with important events in in the future. Because of this, he tries to find him and kill him. Younger Joe must protect Cid, who lives on a farm with his mom, Sara (played by Emily Blunt).
“Looper” has a very offbeat story. It is unpredictable and has a lot of suspense and action. There are several good shootouts throughout the film. One of the best is set in a diner.
The cast is excellent. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis offer compelling linked performances of Joe at different stages of his life. Although the actors do not really resemble each other, they work very well together. Emily Blunt does a fine job, showing Sara is tough, but still loves her son. She is initially hostile to younger Joe, but comes to like him as he protects them. Another solid performance is by Jeff Daniels, who plays Joe’s boss, who was sent from the future to live in the year 2044.
“Looper” is a great choice for fans of off-beat science fiction films. It is a good mix of an interesting story and violent action.