12 MONKEYS MEETS AKIRABruce Willis is no stranger to time travel. He was perfect in the Terry Gilliam re-imagining of Chris Marker's 12 Monkeys, both films excellent forays into the mind-bending possibilities of time travel. I've seen several good time travel films in recent years - "Timecrimes", the macabre Spanish offering from 2004 springs to mind and this year's comedy-action time-warp "Young Gun in the Time" from Korea - and "Looper" fits comfortably between them; somewhat humorous and somewhat dangerous.
I loved the premise; that crime lords from the future send characters they don't like back to the past to be whacked. Things can only get weird after that. And they do.
Apparently, in this timeline, it's okay to meet your older/younger self without dire consequences occurring. You can even punch them out. But you really shouldn't be co-existing at the same time, so I guess killing one of your selves is the best solution?
I ask myself - could I kill my older self? And would this scenario in itself become a loop? After all, I'm going to get older and eventually reach the point of being sent back - or am I? Yep, time travel will definitely fry your brain!
I wish I could talk about the ending. I wish I could talk about the kid. I wish I could talk about the mission. But that would be a real spoiler. The movie plays a bit like Terminator, a bit like Back to the Future (only a bit and there's no deLorean, but there is a fast sports car), a bit like 12 Monkeys and a bit like... Akira, the amazing manga/anime from a decade or two ago.
Does it all mesh? Does it form a cohesive whole? I'd have to say yes, because, despite all the influences, it is very much its own story, absorbing right from the start and despite a slight shift of gears (which seems to have bothered some reviewers, but I didn't have a problem with it) absorbing right up to the... explosive end. Hope that wasn't a spoiler!
Definitely worth watching more than once (knowing the ending second time round isn't a problem - you simply get more time to fry your brain trying to work out the conundrums of time travel)!