Looper (2012)
December 14, 2021 8:25 AM - Subscribe

A futuristic action thriller involving time travel, mob killers, memories, regret, and bars of silver. Released in 2012. Written and directed by Rian Johnson and starring Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and featuring Piper Perabo, Jeff Daniels, and Paul Dano.
posted by brainwane (16 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had a fun time with this. I'd seen Johnson's 2005 film Brick and can see that he enjoys working with Gordon-Levitt, and enjoyed Johnson's stylish direction. I was not expecting how much I would enjoy Noah Segan's Kid Blue (I found him a tertiary protagonist -- he just wants to prove himself and get his boss's approval! and he keeps trying and keeps nearly succeeding!) and Jeff Daniels as Abe, the middle manager who would genuinely prefer that all this organized crime stuff be going as calmly as possible and is tired and disappointed whenever he has to fix anything. "I'm from the future; you should go to China."

"You're holding a gun, I say I'm not afraid, so you describe the gun to me." is a really funny line, too. And I loved Suzie's reminiscences about suppressing the telekinetic guys' tricks.

I did not anticipate the ending.
posted by brainwane at 8:32 AM on December 14, 2021 [3 favorites]

I am a sucker for time travel movies and I love how Looper handles the interaction between past and future. When old Seth is running to turn himself in while they're torturing young Seth in the past... *chef's kiss*
posted by hanov3r at 11:14 AM on December 14, 2021 [3 favorites]

hanov3r: YES, the bodyhorror of the changes happening in real time to future Seth as he tries to climb, drive, run.... amazing.

Did you catch that Shane Carruth is mentioned in the thank-yous in the credits?
posted by brainwane at 11:51 AM on December 14, 2021 [3 favorites]

Did you catch that Shane Carruth is mentioned in the thank-yous in the credits?

I missed that, but Carruth is rumored to have done some consulting on Looper, since he was kind of the king of serious time travel for a bit after Primer.
posted by hanov3r at 2:04 PM on December 14, 2021

On the commentary track, I think, or maybe I read it somewhere, Rian Johnson said he talked to Shane Carruth about how he wanted time travel to work, and Carruth told him his idea didn’t make sense, and Johnson went ahead and did what he wanted anyway, knowing it “didn’t make sense,” and he thanked Carruth in the credits anyway. I have to respect that.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:35 PM on December 14, 2021 [6 favorites]

My name is Jean-Clade Van Damme. I used to be super famous. Perhaps you remember my first starring role in Bloodsport. It is on television all of the time. Or maybe you've seen Timecop, which is like Looper starring Bruce Willis, but like a million times better.
posted by porpoise at 8:09 PM on December 14, 2021 [1 favorite]

I watched this back when, being a sucker for time travel stuff and thought it was pretty decent. I watched it again the other night when it showed up on Netflix and found it much less interesting. I guess what I'm saying is that this is one you shouldn't loop back on in the future. Leave the loop open and let it live on in your memory.
posted by wierdo at 9:24 PM on December 14, 2021 [4 favorites]

If you are bothering to fire up the time machine to go back to 2012, you will find a much better time travel movie in Safety Not Guaranteed.

(I still can't believe Disney let Rian Johnson make such a mess of Star Wars VIII, and yet removed Colin Trevorrow from Star Wars IX.)
posted by fairmettle at 10:48 PM on December 14, 2021 [3 favorites]

To be serious, this is what let me break-up with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a must-see determinant.

JGL's just being JGL here. He nor Willis really worked with each other to, you know, play their characters.

Cage and Travolta at least tried. Travolta, even if not very hard.
posted by porpoise at 11:39 PM on December 14, 2021

I thought Bruce Willis was good enough at playing the guy doing some horrible shit for what he thought was a good reason. I suspect one of the things that turned me off in the rewatch was *waves hands* all the shit going on in the world that makes me much less sympathetic to that frame of mind than I was several years ago.

It didn't really bother me that the two Joes were entirely different people. Time and circumstance can do that to a person.
posted by wierdo at 3:09 AM on December 15, 2021

I admired how they portrayed the future in a plausible enough but very budget-friendly way.
posted by rikschell at 4:56 AM on December 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

I thought this was an hour of setting up a scenario that was interesting and then the Bruce Willis character does something irredeemable and it places very narrow limits on what the outcome can be, then once you think about it for a moment the only likely resolution jumps out.
posted by biffa at 5:38 AM on December 15, 2021

you will find a much better time travel movie in Safety Not Guaranteed

Agreed. There's a post about that movie over here.

I still can't believe Disney let Rian Johnson make such a mess of Star Wars VIII

Some of us really like SW8 and don't think it's any more a mess than the other films in the series.
posted by hanov3r at 8:25 AM on December 15, 2021 [8 favorites]

The only reason I enjoyed this was the marketing. The trailers totally focused on the time travel storyline and showed absolutely zip of the people with powers subplot so in the second half when the movie flipped and the focus became the kid with telekinetic powers, it was a refreshing turn of events - the trailers hadn't shown us all of the movie's plot points which is a rare thing nowadays and goddamn commendable. Thank you Mr. Advertiser for not ruining my movie experience. It was much appreciated.
posted by hoodrich at 11:05 AM on December 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

I just saw this today and thought it was pretty good! It wasn't as good as I was hoping, but definitely more interesting than I expected. The whole middle part of them just hanging out at a farm wasn't expected. I realized about half-way through that I'd confused this with Jumper in my head having not seen either of them, and was confused for a good chunk as I tried to anticipate when we'd actually get jumping.
posted by Carillon at 1:19 AM on May 15, 2022

I just finished rewatching this and yeah I cried. Sure, it’s SF, but all the technology, mutation, and mise-en-scène one can throw into a film still takes a backseat to the human condition and our efforts to maneuver around it or develop ourselves into a new thing in a misguided attempt to defeat it.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:54 PM on October 15, 2022

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