Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Young Joe
Bruce Willis as Old Joe
Jeff Daniels as Abe
Emily Blunt as Sara
Pierce Gagnon as Cid
In theaters September 28
The year is 2044. This is a bleak future filled with poverty stricken vagrants, with ten percent of the population having a mutation which gives them telekinetic abilities. In this future, the mob controls time travel. When it needs someone eliminated, it sends them back in time, 30 years, to an assassin who is waiting to kill them. The assassins are called loopers. Loopers have one rule: Never let your loop run.
Joe (Gordon-Levitt), a young man in his 20’s, is a looper living the life of privilege – cars, money (paid in silver and gold bars), and drugs – anything he wants, as long as he keeps doing his job. When loopers’ services are no longer required, their loop is closed, meaning that their last target is an older version of themselves. They take a pay out and live a “normal” life for 30 years until they are hunted down and sent back in time to be killed, thus closing the loop.
One night, a friend of Joe’s, a fellow looper, shows up on his fire escape, panic-stricken and paranoid. He confesses to Joe that he botched his latest job. He had to kill himself from the future, but he was so shaken when he recognized his older self that he let his target escape, and now Abe, the boss (Daniels), is looking for him and the target to close his loop. Joe hides his friend temporarily until he finally gives him up to Abe.
Joe continues his work until one day a target is sent back – it is Joe’s older self. Within an instant, Joe must decide what to do: kill the target or let him run. Old Joe does not give him the choice; he incapacitates Young Joe and runs. Now it’s just a matter of time for Young Joe to find his target and square things with Abe so he can continue living his life. Old Joe has a plan to restore his timeline and change his future.
The key to that is in finding the big crime boss that rules Old Joe’s future, as well as the future of other loopers. This crime boss, dubbed The Rainmaker, is said to be the most brutal and ruthless criminal who seeks to close all the loops. Rainmaker’s thugs are responsible for sending Old Joe into the past, and for killing Old Joe’s wife. So Old Joe’s plan is to find and eliminate The Rainmaker, and it is downright biblical. This puts Young Joe in a position of actually having to protect a little boy, Cid (Gagnon) and his mother Sara (Blunt) from Old Joe’s machinations, but this is no ordinary little boy. He is one of the ten percent; he is quick and bright, and very “gifted.” We’re presented with the possibilities of Young Joe saving Cid and stopping Old Joe from trying to restore his timeline, or Young Joe doing what he has to do to change his future once and for all.
Joseph Gordon Levitt is flawless in his portrayal of the younger Willis. Mannerisms and cadence of speech are spot on. Fearless and blunderbuss-wielding, he does his job with surgical precision. Bruce…well, is Bruce – there is no doubt of badass-ery here. Plenty of hot brass to go around, Willis is by no means a stranger to gunplay and is equally deadly, especially in a climactic scene where he cleans house on Abe’s thugs. It’s always good to see local boy Jeff Daniels on screen, no matter what the role, but even though he is the boss of the loopers, he still doesn’t seem as threatening as his character obviously could be. Emily Blunt is a strong, fiercely independent single mom and rancher, caring for her son. Pierce Gagnon really steals every scene he’s in; he definitely tugs at your heart strings even in the middle of the chaos that Young Joe has brought into his life.
Make no mistake; “Looper” is not your typical cookie cutter sci-fi/action film. It’s thoughtful, smart and stylish. And while it may sound slightly confusing, you will easily fit into, as well as understand this killer action and suspense thriller. It might help if you are a Trekkie or Whovian, you know, temporal mechanics and all, but seriously, do not miss this!