Thrown for a Loop

Just got back from seeing Looper and my mind’s in a twist. There’s a great line in the film, from Bruce Willis’ character, Joe (well, also Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character too…ugh, see what I mean?), where he tells his younger self (you still with me?) to not dwell on the details of time travel. Well, I wish that were easier said than done. Now, there’s no easy way to fully understand the rules of time travel (I mean, we can’t since it doesn’t exist…yet), but the film certainly got me thinking, which is the first sign this flick is great, regardless of whether I can conquer the complexities and incongruities of time travel theory.

For every mindless movie that I see (and enjoy), the more I love to counteract that by watching what Netflix deems “cerebrial mind-bending inspiring revenge dramas,” or something along those lines. Actually, Looper falls into all those categories. Once you accept the “rules” of this alt-universe, the film ultimately gets to the bottom of how our lives are affected by choices. If only we could see into the future to see how our actions towards others, and ourselves, will affect our world, then maybe we would do things differently.

Of course, the reality is that we often don’t, if ever, live life with the perspective of hindsight. Thus, bad things happen. Sometimes as a result of a series of choices made by us, and sometimes by other variables that are out of our control, but are of course the result of someone else’s choices. Creating an endless loop. (See what I did there?) The film, directed by Rian Johnson (Director of Brick and the infamous Breaking Bad episode, “Fly”), executes these themes with aplomb through the mesmerizing performances by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt, and an understated Bruce Willis, who also has some great moments with gunfire. JGL is mindbendingly brilliant as a younger Bruce. Watching him before his elder self appears on screen, his impersonation, with help from a few facial prosthetics, was otherwise impeccable, from his posture and voice, to his snarky subtlety. In fact, once the Willis appeared, I think JGL out-Bruced Bruce. How is that possible, you ask? Only the future will tell.

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