Looper

On October 3, 2012 by Lynn

I’ve actually held off writing this review for a few days so I could fully process the visceral experience that is Looper.   Part of me wants to just post the trailer and say “Go see it.  Posthaste.”  Part of me wants to tell you all my thoughts and all the spoilers line by line because this movie is that good. Part of me wishes I had never seen it because it just makes my stomach twist and my brain ask all sorts of horrific questions.  But here it is…. Looper.  

Go see it. Today.

Where to begin? 

I’ve loved Joseph Gordon-Levitt since I was like 8 and watching Angels in the Outfield. And then again when I was a little older and watching 10 Things I Hate About You.  J G-L and Heath Ledger in a single movie?  Come on now!  Sigh.  Heath Ledger.  There’s the person I’d want to go back in time to save.  He had too many stories left to tell.

I honestly can’t think of a Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie I haven’t liked.  And here, where he looks oddly like Bruce Willis – he still gives one of his best performances.  So strong that the prosthetics end up disappearing and you forget them completely. Maybe I was just predisposed to like this one already, and then when it was actually good

Back to Looper

It’s a twisted tale of a world without any real semblance of morality.  Even the main character – Joe – is a man finding his way in the world, his life a swirl of drugs, death and girls.  And he knows that one day, he’ll kill his future self.  Cheery life. Hit men for hire

It’s not just some hedonistic rush of a movie, though.  It’s really smart about how the story unfolds.  There are tiny moments – like the one in the trailer above when Joe tells Old Joe, “Your face looks backwards.”  I don’t think I ever would have thought of that. I got through about half the movie when I realized I’d never seen this movie before.  Ever.  Usually – when you see a movie, you’ve seen pieces of it before.  Boy meets girl.  A buddy cop movie.  A new job movie.  A romantic comedy.  An historical drama with a love triangle.

But this one had no boxes.  No preconceived ideas about where the story was heading, or where it needed to go.

Original. 

This is the story of impossibilities happening. Fixed points in time becoming unstuck, and everything that was ever for sure becoming shaky.  Truths becoming untruths.  Paradoxes. See, the very thing that has always been a complete impossibility  happens – his future self escapes his own death.  And everything changes.  His world turns inside out, and everything Old Joe knew for certainty – I’m in love with my wife.  One day I’m going to kill myself.  I probably deserve to die. – just isn’t true anymore.

Old Joe and YoungOlder Joe isn’t just on a crazy tear trying to save his own skin, though.  He’s a man trying to save the future.  Everyone’s future.

And if I go any further than that, I’ll completely spoil the movie.

Just know that there are massive, important plot points that didn’t make it into the trailer (or any of the promo material, for that matter.)  Well done, Rian Johnson.  Thanks for finally making a movie so worth seeing with a trailer that doesn’t give anything away.  Love.

But you have to ask yourself…

If you had a chance to do the same thing, would you?   Would you risk not just your life, but everything that has made your life beautiful and good and worth living?  You start asking yourself questions about nature vs. nurture, and praying that it’s worth teaching the next generation to live and love well.  The world can be a dark, screwed-up place most of the time.

The twist is that there is hope.  Always. 

The world might not exactly look like Looper’s future world quite yet, and maybe it never has to.  But that choice is ours.  Today, right now.  In everything we do.

Let’s get on it.

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