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No-Loophole Guarantee


By: Tyler Garling

Time travel is tough. Whenever you hear about a movie dealing with time travel, you can’t help but feel skeptical. After all, how can a movie explain how Todd, from 2006, travels back in time to 2003 and talks to Bob, who Todd will eventually meet in the future? Plus, when they do meet in 2006, Bob has no recollection of Todd! See, it’s confusing! Thankfully, there is a perfect movie that doesn’t completely shut down your brain from all the loopholes.

In the 2012 film Looper, time travel is invented by the year 2074. However, it is immediately outlawed and only used by criminal organizations. These organizations will send a victim that they want killed back into the past to be killed by a looper. Loopers are the people who kill targets in the present day and receive their payment as silver bars that are strapped to the backs of their targets. Tracking technology is so advanced it’s virtually impossible to dispose of bodies in secret, which is exactly why these organizations need loopers.

Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one of these loopers. This is one of my favorite things about Looper. It always seems like Joseph Gordon-Levitt is playing the good guy, like in (500) Days of Summer, Inception, and The Dark Knight Rises. But in Looper, he isn’t exactly a moral figure. Gordon-Levitt is one of the best actors in recent years and, in Looper he gives one of his best performances. Though Looper had an impressive performance from Emily Blunt, the makeup department’s work on transforming Gordon-Levitt into a young Bruce Willis may have stolen the show!

Joe’s just going to his usual spot to do his job, but his target looks pretty familiar. When Joe’s target appears, Joe realizes that it’s him in the future (Willis).Before this, Joe’s friend Seth (Paul Dano) encountered a similar problem and let his future self get away. Why is this important? Well, Seth tells Joe that in the future, a criminal mastermind known as the Rainmaker is closing all the loops,  meaning that your future self comes back in time only to be killed by you. Joe fails to kill Older Joe and Older Joe escapes. The problem for Young Joe here is that failing to kill your target results in a death sentence. The chase is on!

The “present day” in Looper is the year 2044, and writer-director Rian Johnson does a terrific job in designing  futuristic America. At some point in the future, the United States suffered severe economic collapse. As Joe drives through the decayed American streets, homeless and sick people beg for money and food. A mutation even developed that allows people to levitate small objects. America has seen better days.

Looper does a great job of combining sci-fi and action. From levitating bikes to loopers blasting targets away with a blunderbuss, Looper does it all.

The the big issue for Rian Johnson is how he would tackle the time travel challenge. During Looper, I frequently questioned how it would all work out. How could all the questions be answered? How could there not be any of those terrible loopholes that plague most time travel movies. Luckily, Looper has the perfect ending that not only satisfies, but also closes any possible loopholes.

Looper is one of the best sci-fi action films since Inception. It creates a realistic futuristic dystopian America. It brings up the question of nature vs. nurture and whether we can actually change the future. I would love to see Looper up for an Academy Award, hopefully for Best Picture and, given Gordon-Levitt’s unique performance, a possible Best Actor nomination. It isn’t out of possibility that it earns two Best Supporting Actor/Actress nominations for Willis and Blunt  Looper is one of the highlights of 2012 and will satisfy any moviegoer.

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