Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When a Loop Does Not Close

Image credit:

An exciting time travel tale, "Looper," directed by Rian Johnson ("Brick," "The Brothers Bloom") is a movie that, given its plot split in the middle, still manages to hold the viewers' attention till the end. Its complicated subject might leave you perplexed at times, but never bored, and even if you feel lost or annoyed towards the end, the final scene will make it up to you, and you will leave the movie theater convinced that "Looper" was indeed a film worth watching.

One of the first things you appreciate about the movie is that the science fiction terms and concepts are clearly explained to you right off the bat. You immediately learn that a looper is a hit man, whose job is to assassinate people thrown into his time from the future. Time travel is kept in secret, and once a looper has done his job for a certain amount of time, and if he is still alive, the administration might decide to "close his loop," that is to send the looper an older version of himself, which the looper must kill. After that, the looper gets a large sum of money and is free to go wherever he pleases. He has, however, only 30 years to live till the secret service picks him up and delivers him to the younger version of himself who, in turn, must kill him.

Quite an odd circle, as you see.

But what happens when your "loop," the older version of yourself, refuses to be killed and fights back? This is what Joe (Joseph Gordon Lewitt, "The Dark Knight Rises,""(500) Days of Summer,"), the protagonist of "Looper," is dealing with throughout the film.

The main concept of the film - time travel  - which had appeared in such movies as for instance, "Back to the Future," and "Hot Tub Time Machine," is already a well-developed topic. As it often happens, by means of traveling in time, a character is able to change his or someone else's future, and this is exactly what Joe's loop (Bruce Willis) is trying to do. Imagine how uncomfortable it is when your future is your own antagonist, who shows up out of the blue and does everything possible to change your present, and how much fun it is to watch.

Speaking of concept, it must be said that despite its science fiction nature, the movie is still believable. For the most part, you have no doubts that all of this could happen some time in the future. The only exception is when "the loop" knocks Joe down with nothing but a golden plate (and that's after not dying from a wound caused by a weapon that looks a shorter and fatter version of bazooka).

In terms of composition, the story develops in circles. The characters keep coming back to the same places, for example, a diner, or Joe's apartment. This structure is the illustration of the idea that since the future of the main character is predetermined, it will always be the same thing all over again, and that a radical twist, not just a modification is needed to break the circle. By the end of the movie, we realize it together with Joe, and therefore, the ending for us is cathartic rather than sad.

With all its sophistication and tragedy, the movie is also somewhat humorous, which is achieved through Kid Blue (Noah Segan, "All About Evil," "Undocumented"), a character who tries to do his job well, but instead, since he is a bad shooter and often comes up with the worst ideas, he causes more trouble every time he attempts to correct his past mistakes. The character makes us laugh at him and sympathize with him at the same time, and he is truly the most colorful image in this tangled and sinister story.

And finally, even though the plot of the movie is built around hit men, this film is not overly bloody. Most of the atrocities we need to know of are hinted at, and quite tastefully, so that we understand what is there, but don't see anything specific. Thus, the viewers who are especially sensitive to bloody scenes, can relax and enjoy the show.

To sum it all up, if you're still thinking whether to watch "Looper" or not to watch it, don't wait any longer. It is a well-done film that will leave you with a lot to think of and nothing to regret about.

No comments:

Post a Comment