If you haven’t seen Looper, then you’re doing yourself a mighty disservice. Even if you don’t like Sci-Fi or Time Travel or all that riff-raff, don’t worry. Watch it anyway. Don’t believe me? Follow me down the rabbit hole.
Beyond The Sci-Fi.
What makes Looper one of the best Sci-Fi movies of the last 5 years is that it spends a lot of its time working outside of those trappings. Yes, time travel is the catalyst for most of what happens, but similar to most zombie/horror movies the story focuses on the human aspect. The interactions of the individual characters and how they are influenced by their individual motivations is what really draws you in, and all the better for when they spring the trap on you at the end.
Speaking to that, this movie is not going to satisfy a hardcore sci-fi fan. The time travel aspect is actively glossed over in the story when Bruce Willis utters one of my favorite lines, “I don’t want to talk about time travel because if we start talking about it then we’re going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws.” Of course, with any movie that involves time travel the more you think about it the less it works.
About The Sci-Fi.
Now, don’t think for a minute that I am dismissing the sci-fi elements of this movie outright. In fact, it was those very trappings that made me love this movie so much. Looper is set primarily in the very near future of 2044 with a few brief looks at a later future. It is this near future setting that intrigued me about this film. The creators took a very sensible approach to the natural progression of human society. By eschewing the traditional format of humanity having experienced some kind of grand technological leap and thereby making the future seem entirely alien, they took a more natural approach. In a way everything still looks ostensibly the same but with newer technologies simply integrated in where they’ve replaced current ones, i.e. hoverbikes, new drugs, currency, etc. But what keeps it all grounded is the heavy population of things that don’t appear new. People still driving cars and trucks, building design and decor, the existence of farmland and farming outside of the cities. Too often it is these notes of what hasn’t changed that get erased when a film is trying to convey a sense of near future, but Looper nails it.
I won’t say much more about the movie to avoid spoilers. I will say that if you have not seen it yet, then to get about seeing it directly. And if you’re significant other doesn’t want to, you can assure them that there are not just one, but two love stories.