Time travel movies are always tricky. The writer and director has to establish the rules that their cinematic universe is adhering to. Some of these films are constrained by the limits they set for themselves. Others bend, break or find loopholes which leave the viewer spending way too much time wondering if they cheated. Early in Looper, Rian Johnson’s latest film, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is sitting across from an older version of himself from 30 years into the future (Bruce Willis). Joe asks how any of this is possible regarding him interacting with himself and older Joe, not wanting to get into it replies: “I don’t want to spend all day making diagrams with straws.” Johnson is letting us know that the time travel mechanics aren’t what’s important. It was a means to an end for this story.
I’ve been a fan of director Rian Johnson since his debut film, Brick. Although I didn’t love his follow-up, The Brothers Bloom, as much, I still thought it was a pretty good film.
In his latest flick, Looper, Johnson reunites with his Brick star Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, a hitman for a mob in the future. The mob sends people back to the past for Joe to kill until the person sent back is his future self (Bruce WIllis). Hijinks ensue.