The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Mind-blowing film Looper combines style, action

By Joshua Knopp/special assignments editor

Simply put, Looper is the most aesthetically pleasing movie to come out since The Avengers, and everyone would enjoy it on some level.

Bruce Willis hides behind a car in the movie Looper, where he and his younger self, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, play a cat-and-mouse game through time travel.
Photo courtesy TriStar Pictures and Alliance Films

As the young version of the main character, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) narrates, the film is set 30 years before the invention and swift illegalization of time travel. In Joe’s future, time travel is used only by crime syndicates to dispose of bodies, which is difficult to do in the present. Joe is one of their garbage men in the past, a “looper.”

In the future, old loopers are eventually sent back to be killed by themselves (and, for some reason, they must do it themselves) so they can’t bring the crime syndicates’ actions to light. Unfortunately for Joe, he grows up to become Bruce Willis, who, if he doesn’t turn out to be dead the whole time, doesn’t die easily.

Looper’s flaws are many and difficult to explain, and, in the end, they are secondary to the intensity of the movie. Everything about the film demands the audience’s attention and intrigue, from the dystopian background to Willis and Gordon-Levitt staring themselves down over a double order of steak and eggs to the high-octane gunfights.

The film is substance over style over substance. The themes and plotlines are more important than the action, but the action is more important than the amount of thought put into the premise.

Looper is interesting thematically. While writer/director Rian Johnson doesn’t seem to understand the physical implications of the world he sets up, Looper still feels visceral and real. What’s more, the film can navigate time travel questions, such as choice vs. destiny and stable vs. unstable time loops, with just as much clarity as a more fleshed-out time travel story.

One last note: Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s star isn’t just rising. It’s on a rocket ship headed to another galaxy. Only 31, he already has enough clout to executively produce his own movies as he does with Looper. He will appear in Lincoln in November, which will be his fourth movie since July. Next year, he will star in Don Jon’s Addiction, which he wrote and directed as well.

For many, Looper will be mind-blowing in its own right, and even if it isn’t, it will at least be an entertaining movie. There is no absolute interpretation of the film, and every viewer will come away with his or her own thoughts. But even if one is only along for the ride, it’s a hell of a ride.

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