A friend recently came to me with boy troubles; she wasn’t sure if she liked the guy because there were things about him that annoyed her. I told her that all men have something that you’ll find you don’t like. She told me to name one about my hubby.
So there we go, sappiness galore.
As part of our romantic celebration of seven years of true love, we watched the quintessential romantic movie: Looper. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)
Though I guess it was a little romantic because my husband knows how much I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt and was willing to indulge in that? Nah, I think he just wanted to watch people being blown to bits.
The movie is essentially about a time period in the future (2044) where the criminal organizations have become hired out to the criminal masterminds of thirty years in the future – masterminds who have gotten a hold of time travel technology (which was outlawed at the time). Bodies are meticulously accounted for in the future so the Big Bads use time travel to get rid of those they don’t want, sending them back to 2044 to be blasted by big guns held by assassins known as “Loopers”. JGL is one of the best, until the victim he’s confronted with has his own face – aged by 30 years.
[not so mini recap and review of Looper]
What surprised me about Looper is that the trailer for it did not actually give away the whole movie. I thought it had because we saw JGL growing older and then chasing himself around, promising to kill his older self. But no, that wasn’t all the story.
JGL (who incidentally is named “Joe” in the movie) is seen doing his job and taking his drugs and doing his job, etc. His world gets shaken up when his best friend, Seth, comes crying to him in the middle of the night scared out of his wits. Seth failed to kill his future self (i.e. close the loop) and is now freaking the fuck out.
Backing up, “closing the loop” refers to when the younger self kills his older self sent from the future (who is conveniently bound and gagged with a bag over his head). The younger self gets a ton of silver (strapped to the back of the victim) from the job, stops working as a Looper and uses that money to play the rest of his life (which will be the next 30 years).
Anyway, JGL agrees to hide him but then gets taken in by Abe’s (the Looper’s crime boss who was sent from the future to set up the organization) goons. Abe interrogates JGL, not with force or violence, but with the simple fact that it’s either Seth JGL gives up or it’s the silver that JGL’s been stashing away for when his loop closes. JGL makes the obvious choice. Bye bye, Seth. What follows from there is pretty gruesome. While not gory (which was present in the movie), Seth’s younger self gets taken apart piece by piece (can’t kill him or time will get wonky) which shows in the older version slowing disappearing, finger by limb.
JGL is, understandably, messed up by this. He tries to continue his life but it just isn’t the same for him anymore. Then one day, his next hit is late. And when he does show up, it’s himself from the future – no bag over his head and his hands untied. This is where the movie starts throws your time sense a bit off.
(As an aside, the make-up and eye contact job on JGL was a nice touch, there was resemblance between the two.)
JGL hesitates, leaving an opening for older Joe (I’m calling him Bruce now) to foil the murder attempt and knock JGL out. Bruce obviously can’t kill JGL (elsewise he’d stop existing) so he leaves a note for the younger man to get out of town while Bruce takes the truck. And what does JGL do when he wakes up hours later? He goes straight to his apartment of course. Because you do that when you know that your boss is probably pissed that you didn’t get your target. He runs into the goons and falls off his building and presumably dies because all goes dark and we’re back to the point where JGL confronts his older self. Except this time he kills him.
It shows JGL living out his life, moving to China, doing the same old, turning into Bruce Willis, etc. until he meets a beautiful Chinese woman whom he ends up marrying and living happily with until he hits his thirty year mark. One morning he wakes up and his house is overrun by surly men in black trench coats. They take him out of his now burning house to go to their time machine in a warehouse. Bruce seems docile enough until he decides not to be and shows that he’s still BA at 50 – 60 years old and takes out three men while bound and gagged. He removes the restraints and decides to get into the time machine anyway, at this point to change his future.
It shows the same sequence of events leading up to JGL falling out of the building, this time from Bruce’s POV. Bruce rescues JGL and puts him next to the train but again, JGL refuses to leave. Bruce in the meantime has a mysterious string of numbers on his hand and he looks up information on a fancy computer at the library pulling up three baby faces in three different locations on a map. As Bruce is getting his plan (whatever that is) together, he gets a message, scarred into his arm. “Beatrix” – this turns out to be a message from JGL who has a bleeding arm and is at the diner where Beatrix as a waitress.
I love the line here from Bruce, “You know there’s another waitress who works here on the weekends.” Joe: “Jen?” Bruce: “Yeah, less letters.”
After a mano-a-mano face-off, and an explanation of how the future isn’t bright and shiny due to a dictator (The Reign-maker as in “reign of terror”) who came out of nowhere and started killing people en masse and how Bruce was healed by the love of a good woman who dies at the goons’ hands in the future, Bruce and Joe realize that the diner has gotten reeeally quiet and finally see that there’s Abe’s men outside waiting to kill them. Joe does his best to take out Bruce who gets away but who does manage to shove part of his uber-secret map into Joe’s hand, a key to finding the Reign-maker now before he or she takes over the world.
Joe has to escape Abe’s men himself because they want to take him in to do the same to him they did to Seth and finds his way to the address on his map. A farmhouse in the middle of the nowhere with Emily Blunt (sporting a pretty good country twang) is living with her son. They form a wary alliance after Joe reveals that a man is going to come to her farm to kill her son, Syd. Who by the way is an adorable little guy. The kid’s got acting chops – he can look scarily evil and then completely innocent and young. Syd also turns out to be TK – that’s having telekinesis powers, something which is known about and accepted because it just means that you can float a quarter in the air, except Syd, well, he’s got a lot of power. He throws a tantrum at his mom and things start floating and the walls are shaking and the mom runs away and hides in a safe in her closet until he cries himself to sleep.
While Joe and Emily get to know each other, Bruce is hunting down the other two addresses on his map. You see him confront another kid that could be the Reign-maker and he struggles with himself and it’s really hard to watch at this point as he lifts the gun and kills the kid. He stumbles out of the kid’s driveway, broken – the kid wasn’t the Reign-maker because he’s still there and he’s still got the same memories. Welcome to hell, Bruce.
Yet he continues on to hunt down the other kid on the list and gets picked up by one of Abe’s annoying men (a secondary character who really is just a retard). Bruce gets taken to HQ where he proceeds to massacre the entire force of Abe’s gang including Abe himself (they’d all conveniently gathered there to organize up and take out Joe). This scene appeals to my violent tendencies because it’s just a bloodbath and in the end, it’s Bruce standing there covered in gore and blood.
In the meantime, Joe and Emily got a visit from one of Abe’s gunmen who gets taken down by Syd who gets pissed that the guy is holding his mom hostage at gun point and scared because he tripped on the stairs and starts falling and making things and the gunman float. Joe goes to save the kid while the mom goes to save Joe and get him out of the house with her. A force explodes through the house. (I think we got to see the guy explode, I’m not sure because to be honest, my eyes were closed.) And with that, because Joe is really Bruce thirty years ago, Bruce knows that he’s the Reign-maker and he heads out to the farmhouse.
Joe himself is ready to kill the kid, just hearing of the destruction he’s going to cause and seeing it in evidence in his future self. The mom pleads with him but he ignores it as he chases the kid through the crops. He comes across the small child crouched in a narrow cleared path, covered in blood, crying. Joe can’t kill him and tells the mom to get out now.
The mom packs up her truck while Joe faces off with Bruce who’s come for the child. The last annoying gunman interrupts Joe’s attempt to kill Bruce, enough for Bruce to get away and go after the child. The family is driving away when Bruce starts shooting at them and the kid freaks out and flips their truck over. The mother and child are running across the open field to escape to the crops while Bruce opens fire on them. The mother trips (and the entire time I’m thinking, “the Reign-maker saw his mother murdered”) and Bruce goes in to kill.
Syd, once again, uses his TK to take control of the situation and he looks ready to kill the floating Bruce until his mother’s soothing words (“I love you. It’s okay. Calm down.”) filter through to him and he drops them and his mom tells him to run. She turns to face Bruce, intent on putting herself in the line of fire so her boy can get away.
Joe finally arrives on the scene. He sees it all, Emily dying to save her child, Bruce killing to save his wife and he sees how he can stop it all.
He shoots himself in the chest. Bruce disappears. Emily lives and Syd will probably not turn out to be the Reign-maker and may use his powers for good. We don’t really know.
Overall, the movie was pretty intense with a couple scenes to lighten it up that seemed a little out of place but one that I could have. Bruce Willis shows that he’s still a BAMF while JGL just keeps moving away from his 3rd Rock from the Sun persona. The time travel aspects of a story always engage me and I love chewing it over afterwards. The Reign-Maker facet of the plot could’ve been made a little more important than mentions here and there (which is what it seemed like to me) when it seemed to be the overriding factor to the story. JGL’s character arc was believable and Bruce’s motivations were too.
It’s not really something I would watch again just because action and suspense are something I indulge in every few months but it was worth watching.
So I was going to do my Once Upon a Time 02x01 “Broken” recap and review but I feel like this is long enough so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that!