[This is an altered version of a post originally featured on Hidden Remote]
Straight away Rian Johnson dumps us into the world of Looper. He trusts the audience with the information about Time Travel, the shift in time periods, and the faith in the timelines present.
The future that is shown in Looper is a future that despite being a quarter of a century away seems very real, you know, once you take out the time travel aspect. Everything is run down, society is running on empty, and criminal activity thrives.
From a very early stage, the tone of Looper was very much decided. As evidenced by the ‘clip-o-matic trailer’ that Rian Johnson posted on his Vimeo. Taken from clips from Se7en and Blade Runner among others, the video below encapsulates perfectly what Looper ended becoming.
Jeff Daniels summed up the attitude of the films time travel threads as such, “time travel stuff will fry your brain like an egg.” Even Bruce Willis makes the point that it’s best not to think about it, “making diagrams with straws.” In a film where you try to change the future, a scene about the ramifications of changing the past to affect the future has the greatest visceral effect, takes the Back To The Future fading away idea to the uptmost extreme.
Joseph Gordon Levitt is made up to look like Bruce Willis and, while that got most of the publicity, it is something that really doesn’t matter, it doesn’t have any change on one’s enjoyment of the film. Both actors embody the character of “Joe” despite portraying the character at different stages, they feel one and the same.
Of the other actors in the film Noah Segan and Jeff Daniels provide a tight subplot, that spawned a fan theory. Paul Dano is given free rein to do what he does best, and be a conniving, snivelling weasel of a person, cowardly and meek.
The film changes, though, once Emily Blunt is introduced as Sara. The film starts questioning to what lengths someone would go to protect someone they love. What does one do to save the memory? This change in Looper takes the time travel concept and does something more than have it as a deus ex machina. Her performance as a mother trying to raise her child is so good, she surpasses the performances of everyone else when she is on-screen.
When you look at time passing, and you think if you had the chance to change the past to better the future, would you do it? But in doing so don’t you become the worst thing you imagined? Maybe the only better chance at a future is if you see it happening before you, only then can you change it.