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A long time ago tomorrow

Paul Peterson

Movies on the water and time travel are almost always destined to bomb or be weird or just cost more than Australia.
James Cameron might have an exception to that rule, but most movies don’t get time travel right.
Looper, starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, play old Joe and young Joe respectively – two paid killers living in 2044 and 2074. The mob controls time travel and when they want someone killed they just send him back in time and young Joe kills them. Easy Simple. Clean.

They wear a hood so he doesn’t need to know who he’s whacking.  It’s a plausible cityscape although if they can master time travel, why don’t they go back and just kill the dude before he becomes a problem?  We know a little bit about Old Joe. He’s Bruce Willis. We know that at some point he’s going to be sent back and sure enough, his time comes but he manages to go back without a hood and Young Joe hesitates. Next thing you know they’re in a  diner talking about each other’s past and future and sorting it all out. Make no mistake. Eventually young Joe will find it in him to do his job, and Old Joe will fight back.
But what does it all mean?

If Old  kills young then did Old ever exist? If Young wins does he just wipe out his future to the day that he whacks himself which would be today? So does life end? What’s the point? We know that Old Joe’s wife has been killed by some bad dude known as The Rainmaker.
Young J is dating a woman with a son named Cid. Emily Blunt also stars as the gritty love interest who puts up with very little nonsense from the boys. We are led to believe that Cid may grow up to be The Rainamaker.

It’s interesting and compelling and the film is good enough that it transcends the time travel genre and just becomes a really good drama.
I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He was quirky interesting in 50/50 and looks positioned to be Robin in the Dark Knight series if it gets revived but my favorite film of his is 500 Days of Summer. It’s a great film and a great performance and well worth a look.
Willis is always reliable for a tough guy turn although apparently even he couldn’t save G I Joe 2. Emily Blunt delivers a really strong performance which is a nice surprise and I think Looper is one of the better films of the summer. It’s intense and reasonable sensible.
I liked it a lot and even though I thought some of the special effects were a bit cheesy, director  Rian Johnson never lets the story be overpowered by the gimmick and time travel is a gimmick. Interesting twist ending which I won’t reveal here but Looper is worth the watch.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong. That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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