Once the future was projected in movies as a colorful and peaceful environment, where most of the human challenges will come from encounters with other civilizations and the confrontation with humanity’s own thirst in discovering the Universe and breaking all its frontiers. Then the dark political fiction interfered, as movies like 1984 and Brazil brought up to screen the social nightmares  of a world dominated by totalitarianism. Nowadays almost all movies that deal with the future seem to be dark dystopias that describe the planet after some kind of atomic, biological or ecological apocalypse, or in the best case a society that became some kind of Orwellian nightmare. Director Rian Johnson‘s Looper is no exception, as the world of 2044 or 2074 in the film is dominated by violence, human life has lower price than ever, and the technology progress did not bring to mankind any happiness (neither cleaner streets). Time travel was invented but quickly forbidden, as organized crime took over, and as with any forbidden substance or weapon it is the mafia that controls the illegal trade.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1276104/?

 

‘Loopers’ are paid killers whose mission is to execute in cold blood in the year 2044 the victims targeted by the mob of 2074 to die. The trick and the trigger of the story is that 30 years later it may be decided that the looper is the one to die, and then if the sentence is not put in action a loop is created. Loopers are not allowed to feel any mercy, not even to their own self in the future. The smart script of this film, one of the smartest that I have seen lately avoids with the twist of a sentence the hard questions asked when the two instances of the same paid killer (Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) meet in one of the scenes that is hard to forget for anybody who saw the film. ‘Too complicated, let us not enter the details’. And if details are left apart, this story works perfectly, and the ending makes a lot of sense in a story which could easily get too complicated and too hard to follow.

 

(video source SonyPictures)

 

It’s hard to tell from this film that writer and director Rian Johnson is almost a newcomer in the world of Hollywood. Not only the pace of the film is perfectly tuned accelerating and slowing as the story demands, and the cinematography choices he made seem efficient and the story and dialogs create the atmosphere of distrust that lets the viewer ask all the time what is meant by the sequence he watches and what comes next, without explaining things too early or too late – there is also something in the realistic style he picks that makes the story credible and the characters resonate with viewers despite the unusual situations they are facing. Bruce Willis proves once more that he is much more than an action hero actor (although the fans of Die Hard will find here a few scenes that will remind them their beloved character), Joseph Gordon-Levitt approaches the role with a self-confidence and a palette of nuances that makes me believe that we may have in him another megastar of tomorrow,  while Emily Blunt confirms the good vibrations I felt watching her in The Adjustment Bureau. Looper is a more than satisfying action thriller, it is one of the best written, directed and acted films I have seen in the last year.