Joe is a Looper. In the future when you want to disappear a body, back it goes in time to a desolate field in the deep mid-west to Joe and his blunderbuss. There he will blow a hole in the hapless rube before taking the pay strapped to their back.
And the pay is good but the price, as Joe finds, is even higher. When Joe fails to end his own future self a tsunami of organised criminality comes after him.
The film is clever and walks the fine line between standard fare and wrapping itself in its own smugness. The performances are touching at times and brutal in others. There are themes that get explored here for the first time in mainstream cinema that had all 6’10” of me wincing in a way I haven’t experienced since Old Boy and the live octopus. The film asks the question ‘What would you do to save the one you love?’ The answers are extremes that creep up on you and the characters slowly as they are cut free of their own time.
It is genuinely original and there are elements you don’t expect at. However fans of the new Sci-Fi wave will recognise a Deus ex Machina when they see one and while it does not flag you down in the first act, it certainly wolf whistles.
The film has more in common with another Willis vehicle, the trippy and ultimately circular 12 Monkeys than it does with the other summer Sci-Fi fare (please avoid Total Recall I beg you!). While it works and works well it could have been more. The bite of the Looper’s cruelty is panned away from too often and the potential horrors of the future are only referenced in passing. This denies the audience the chance to really connect with the choice that has to be made.
In all a cerebral film that will certainly keep the conversation going past the starter on date night.
If you are still discussing it with your dessert I would respectfully suggest you were not paying close enough attention.