Looper

Posted: December 11, 2012 by jperritt in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

looper-660“Face your future.  Fight your past.”, reads the tagline to the most recent cinematic take on time-travel, Looper.  Time travel is nothing new to movie goers, but there seems to be something that has resonated in this current rendition.  According to Rotten Tomatoes, Looper has a current ‘fresh’ rating from critics of 94%, making it one of the highest rated movies released this year.  That really says something.  What is it about this take on time-travel that has captivated the culture?

Looper follows Joe (Jospeph Gordon-Levitt) in a futuristic story where time-travel is a reality.  However, it is employed by the mafia to kill.  The mafia has recruited hired guns, called loopers, to go back in time thirty years to kill and dispose of bodies.  Since the future has made the disposal of bodies difficult, people are sent into the past to be killed, and disposed of a bit easier.  As Joe puts it, “You’re basically killing someone who never existed.”  This statement alone provides some good discussion.

Since your head is probably hurting from the time-travel talk, let me give you an easier storyline from the film.  Loopers aren’t the smartest bunch of guys.  It’s not so much that they’re ignorant, but foolish; there is a difference.

One of the great ironies of the film is the fact that the looper’s mentality was focused on the here and now.  Loopers, more than anyone, knew the past and present had consequences, because they saw it first hand.  They had lived in the past and the future, they had an intimate knowledge of both, but they didn’t do much reflecting on that reality.

Instead, loopers indulged themselves on drugs and women.  They sought any earthly pleasure they wanted, even knowing their party lifestyle had a time limit.  The movie informs us that loopers understood that “closing the loop” was a reality.  Closing the loop was a phrase used to describe the event of your future self being sent back in time to be destroyed by…yourself.  When a looper killed his future self, the past self knew his life was now over.  Therefore, he indulged this party lifestyle prior to the ceasing of his existence.

The plot thickens as Joe’s old self (Bruce Willis) is sent back to be executed by young Joe – closing the loop.  When young Joe hesitates to kill his future self, old Joe flees in a pursuit to save his future wife, who is unknown to young Joe.  As the two Joes meet up at a later time, old Joe explains that a future person begins killing all the loopers; therefore, he’s on a mission to stop this from occurring.  One disturbing aspect to this mission is the fact that this future killer, whom Joe is seeking to kill, is currently a child.  This presents Joe with a problem: Kill a child to save the lives of future beings.  Destroy a child who technically hasn’t killed anyone yet.

The film raises several interesting thoughts.  Would you change your future if you could?  At what lengths would you go to ensure the safety of others?  What impact do our decisions today have on our future?  These questions, and more, are considered in Looper.

Looper is a quality science fiction film that should be appreciated.  Far too often sci-fi can go big on entertainment while sacrificing story and overall quality.  Not so with Looper.  That being said, I would also give strong caution to those who may possibly see it.  It is much darker than I thought it would be.  It has some gruesome violence, disturbing scenes and sexual content, which poses a concern.  Christians must examine their hearts and use discernment based on this content.  I made use of the old technique of closing my eyes in one specific scene.

Although there was some dark content, the film presented it in such a way which highlighted its depravity.  Looper showed the ultimate futility in the worldly pursuits of drugs and the objectification of women.  Even though they could have toned down the explicit nature of this content, and captured the same effect, I appreciated the ugliness of sin being accurately portrayed.

So returning to the question: Why does Looper resonate with fans?  There are many answers:  An interesting story, quality filmmaking, an up-and-coming star, but I think it’s the idea of time travel.  If you think about it, time is something foreign to us.  Yes we all function within the confines of time, but this hasn’t always been the case.

Every human being on the face of the earth was created for eternity.  Back in Genesis 1:26-27 we see that all of mankind was created in the image of an eternal God, therefore, eternality is simply part of our DNA.  Time is something we are now clothed with because of The Fall.  Instead of living eternally, we all must experience death, until Christ returns.  Even if our time doesn’t end in death, we are constrained by it each and every day.  We must sleep, adhere to deadlines, and say ‘no’ to some things, because our time won’t allow us to be in more than one place.  Therefore, an existence, like the one in Looper, presents viewers with a life that is less constrained by time.

God, however, transcends time.  He created time.  He is too big and too great to be confined to time.  He knows all things – past, present, and future – fully and completely.  There is part of us that understands this.  I am not saying we can fully comprehend it, but our image-bearing nature understands this is a reality, which makes time-travel appealing to us.

The bottom line is this, every human being has an eternity before them.  Time will come to an end.  Those who have faith in Jesus Christ, share in a joyous eternity but those outside of Christ have an eternity of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

[For Josh Kwasny’s thoughts on this film, click here.]

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Comments
  1. I think that one of the reasons this movie is so good is that it also deals with the power of love, and how love or the lack thereof can change a life forever.

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