Whenever a movie involves time travel, I am always a little skeptical about how the story is going to play out. I mean, whatever happens, they could always just go back in time again and fix it, right? In the case of "Looper", writer/director Rian Johnson has found a decent way to solve the problem (for the most part) by taking the ability to time travel away from the main characters and have it be something that is done to them. I know that doesn't make sense, but it will when you see it.
In more good news: this movie has Emily Blunt in it.
Of course, Emily Blunt is not the star of the movie, but I like her a lot and she does really well with the character she plays. The two stars of the movie are Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis who both play the same character. That character is named Joe and he is a Looper. A Looper is a guy who's job it is to kill people that are sent back in time by mob bosses who are the only people that control time travel. They have this control because it was immediately banned after it was invented and anything that is banned becomes property of the criminal underworld.
One of the tricks to the whole Looper thing is that, as a form of control, the mob eventually sends the older version of the Looper back to be killed by themselves...if that makes sense. The Looper is then sent off in to retirement with lots of money until it is their time to be killed...by themselves. I know, right?! Now, the guy in charge of all of this in the younger Joe's current time is Abe (Jeff Daniels) who was sent back in time by the mob guys so when he says you should go to China instead of France, its best that you take his advice.
One of the really interesting things about this movie is how it really attempts to lean heavily on what is and is not possible with time travel (if it existed) and that attention to detail holds the story together pretty well. Like I was saying before, there are a lot of time travel movies where the whole thing could be solved real quick by using that handy time travel device to go back and wipe out what just happened. What I wasn't expecting was another science fiction element to be thrown in as a major driving force in the story which ends up sending the whole thing in a different direction than I was expecting.
This turn of events was both a good and bad thing in my estimation as it adds a very interesting twist, but I'm not sure if it was really a necessary thing to go with. I'm almost wondering if it was added in to the story as a way to not let the movie fall in to the traps of time travel paradoxes and inconsistencies. Either way, I still really enjoyed the movie and there are some great moments of both younger and older Joe being a bad ass, shooting people, and/or blowing stuff up. I mean seriously, that's what we want to see Bruce Willis do in a movie, right?
This has definitely been a banner year for Mr. Gordon-Levitt with starring roles in quality movies like "The Dark Knight Rises", "Premium Rush", and now "Looper" which really gives him a chance to show why he will be a major star for years to come. Overall, "Looper" is a solid yet flawed movie that is given a boost to above average status by three actors that are all as likable as they are good at what they do.