The theme of going back into time to change the future has been a staple in film and novel. Especially the potential for an individual to suddenly vanish in real time after going back to kill his father. This issue is heavily worked over in “Looper”, a film that is getting a whopping 93% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer.
In this futuristic thriller, time travel is possible in the future but is rigorously controlled by powerful factions that send their enemies back 30 years in time to be disposed of by specially designated hit men (Loopers). Occasionally the future iteration of the Looper gets sent back for disposal, and if that person happens to escape, a multiplicity of complications occur involving generations of players.
The older and younger versions of the same man can exist on the same time plane, but it’s complicated. What one feels, the other feels as well. They can communicate with each other by raising print welts on their respective forearms. The mission of the older version from the future directly affects the life of the younger version and everyone around him. The shock ending is definitely not anticipated. Each tries to negate the influence of the other.
The action is fast, elegant, weird and smart, but in places is difficult to keep who’s doing what and to whom in perspective. This is the third time Bruce Willis’ character time travels and encounters his younger self. The first was “Twelve Monkeys” and the second was “The Kid”. Newcomer Joe Gordon-Levitt (from “50/50” and “The Dark Knight Rises”) does a good job of holding the circles of personality together.
Best part: The implications of the surprise ending.
Least best part: Trying to figure out a fast moving convoluted plot on the fly.
Quirky notice: A futuristic motorcycle (called a “Bike”) crashes and just for a second as the camera surveys the damage, the “bike’s” speedometer is shown. It is a “Smith” brand- standard equipment on most vintage British bikes of the 60s and 70s such as Triumph, BSA and Norton”
I give it four and a half blasts from a Blunderbuss.