Open Thread: LOOPER Discussion!

Rian Johnson's new movie is a great entry in the time travel canon. Now you can discuss it with us - spoilers welcome!

By now hopefully many of you have seen Looper. Not only is Looper a really good time at the movies, it's exactly the sort of film that feels good to support; while it was released by Sony it's independently financed, it's an original story, it's for adults. But you know, saying 'we should support this!' makes it sound like a chore. Looper isn't a chore, it's exactly what we're always asking the movies to give us. 

I've seen the film twice now, and I find that it gets better on repeat viewings. Johnson's script is really smart, and he layers in stuff that you don't catch the first time through. He's not only doing some obvious set ups and pay offs, he's weaving in really small subtle things that I only caught the second time around. Here's one I liked: when Joe comes to the farmhouse, Sara cleans his wounds and tells him that in the country things have a tendency to get infected and fall off. Later we see a flashforward where Cid, bearing a gash on his jaw, angrily rides away in a train. We hear that the Rainmaker may not have a jaw. And that, it seems, is how he lost it. These don't add up to major revelations but rather wonderful moments where you can see the care Johnson lays into the script.

There will be some who pick apart the time travel aspects of the movie, but I think they're missing the forest for the trees. The Terminator films are what you should be looking at here, not the Back to the Future movies. The mechanics and intricacies of time travel aren't the point of the film, but rather a way of telling this story about these characters. I think that there's some fun to be had kicking around the potential paradoxes at play, but I was never troubled by them, especially if you imagine that the loopers escaping in the past create divergent timelines that effectively wipe out their own future but not themselves, since they are in the past before the wiped out future. That said, they are still connected to their modern day selves, so any damage done to the modern day self will manifest in the future looper.

What most impressed me about Looper was seeing how Johnson approaches action. The big Akira-esque finale in particular is amazing, and feels like one of those moments we've been waiting to see done right in domestic live action forever. We knew that Johnson was a smart director who wrote great scripts and shot things beautifully, but I think Looper proves he has chops in the action world as well. I bet he has a lot of offers sitting on his desk right now, and he's going to have to choose whether to be the kind of guy who takes the big Justice League paycheck (while trying to make the best possible version of that movie, Whedon style) or the guy who keeps his head down and continues forward making the movies that come from himself. 

I hope it's option two, but I'd totally pay money to see Rian Johnson take $200 million to do a big tentpole.

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