Going back in time doesn’t make sense. Looper, a surprising, well-paced and human actioner recognizes this immediately. Aside from the very basic, very linear “what affects your past body will scar your future body” rule, Looper doesn’t try to explain time travel. We don’t know how it works. We don’t know who invented it. We don’t know whether or not it can take people forward in time, or perhaps to parallel universes. All we’re told is that it takes people back in time, is highly illegal, and looks like the pod Jodie Foster took through a wormhole in Contact.
And that’s a good thing. When dealing with something so impossible within the laws of our universe, it’s best not to explain it too much. Why attempt legitimizing something that has no chance of being legitimate? That was the problem with Christopher Nolan’s Inception - it spent too much time getting granular. We were given too many rules. Too many asterisks and nonsensical footnotes. Yes! You can go into a dream! BUT you can also go into the dream inside a dream. BUT HOLD THE PHONE AND CHECK YOUR WATCH, because time slows down by some arbitrary rate that you’d better remember. AND DON’T WORRY, you can’t DIE from a dream. Well, KINDA. It’s not that simple. DON’T BE SCARED, just don’t get too deep otherwise you’ll end up in limbo. Watch out for Marion Cotillard. And also that train.
In Looper, time travel just is. As presented, it’s impossible in our world, but writer/director Rian Johnson recognizes that fact almost immediately. Attempts by Joseph Gordon-Levitt to scrutinize the process are met with confused, angry reactions by Bruce Willis, and the machine itself is seen only once. It’s an old, rusty Medusa of a thing – covered in pipes and wires that appear to be anything but safe. That it works is all that counts, because the real story isn’t the technology - it’s the people that technology affects.
There are four characters at the center of this story (though only three lives) and they’re all stuck in the past - in one way or another. They’re haunted by memories and determined to make the future better for themselves and the ones they love. Time travel? With stakes as high as the ones in Looper, who has time to care about time travel?
Inception’s characters spent an entire movie trying to figure out its black hole of a process. Looper’s characters? They’re just trying to live.
24 Notes/ Hide
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- notveryraven said: what do you think of Rian Johnson’s other movies? I’m pretty sure I rly like him a lot
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- creeperstatus said: Very well put, Bob. And how about that snazzy Miata?
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- bestnatesmithever said: I like all of the things you said here except for the things you said about Inception.
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- interweber said: ah you saw it already ugh
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