My best friend visited over the new year and one evening we had enough time between my work schedule, her workshop schedule, and going to the spa, to sit down for a nice dinner and watch a movie. We chose Looper because it was available on Redbox, we both wanted to see it, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the movie. With a holiday coupon that entitled me to a free movie (my Redbox Boyfriend always remembers my birthday and our anniversary. Sometimes I wonder if I have a bunch of fake boyfriends, so I don’t have to deal with a real one… but more on that later) it was a win/win situation.
Joe Simmons, played by Levitt, is a Looper. In the future time travel has been outlawed which means only outlaws use it, and that means mobsters send people back to the past to be shot and disposed of. This is called closing a Loop and Loopers do the closing, i.e. the killing. This includes each looper closing the loop on their own lives with the knowledge that they have thirty years to live and spend the money they’ve accumulated being killers. But something happens to mess up Joe’s head and instead of closing his loop, his future self, played by Bruce Willis, gets the advantage and runs away. His future self is trying to fix the past to prevent a future mistake. Now comes all things wibbley wobbley, timey wimey.
Time travel requires a suspension of disbelief. Perhaps this is why I enjoy Doctor Who so much, the timeliness of the timelines doesn’t matter so much to me and I just willingly believe the purported things that happen because of time travel. Sara does not. Hence a couple of times we stopped the movie and argued what something met, then started the video again, and were lost and even once started the whole thing over. Also, perhaps this is why she doesn’t like Doctor Who, which would be a sacrilege, but I don’t require my friends to have all the same interests that I have. How boring.
While Future Joe is trying to correct a mistake by being a really horrible person, Present Day Joe is trying to prevent Future Joe from completing his mission. At first it is because he wants to get his old life back, but as he grows throughout the story line, eventually Present Day Joe is doing it because it is the right thing. This movie is very . . . . graphic is not the right word because a lot of the gory stuff happens off screen, but the imagery that is burned into your brain from imaging what happened is not pretty. Actually one part of the story line really upset me and I don’t think it was necessary. It should not be OK that violence to children and women is used as a cliche B Plot.
However, I did like the movie in spite of this and the wonky time travel stuff. I liked it because the moral of the story here is not that time travel messes everything and everyone up and we shouldn’t do it- because that message has been said a time or two or twenty. But the moral of the story is that everyone has the chance to change. Change themselves, change their present, change their future, change their story. That is the time travel message I like to see and read about. I don’t mind if things go wonky, as long as the overall message is one of hope. Life can be changed, we can make a difference, and sometimes you get a happy ending with a shotgun.
Below is a version of How It Should Have Ended. If you haven’t watched the movie, then do not watch this. If you have watched the movie you have to watch this, because it is awesome!