“Looper” delivers futuristic twists, thrills

Nathan Fisher

Returning to two-dimensional viewing this week, I just couldn’t resist seeing another bloody, violent movie set in the future. “Looper,” a sci-fi action thriller, takes the time travel premise in “Terminator” and “Back to the Future” and spins a mind-bending thriller that hits a home run.

“Looper” opens in the year 2044 with Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a looper, waiting in a field for a hooded person from the year 2077 to be deposited on the tarp in front of him. Joe’s job is to kill the person appearing on the tarp and dispose of the body. Time travel has been invented by 2077, outlawed, but used by the mob to dispose of, well, their problems. As Joe explains in the movie, “The only rule is: Never let your target escape … even if your target is you.” Yup, you know what’s coming––Joe lives the good life until one day the person deposited from the future, unhooded of course, is his future self (Bruce Willis). Joe, knowing he has to kill his future self, hesitates, and future Joe escapes. Now the movie starts to roll!

Young Joe has to elude the mob as he tracks down and tries to complete his job of killing his future self. In “Terminator” style, future Joe tries to find and kill the person who runs the mob in the future. Instead of Schwarzenegger using phone book listings of Sarah Connor, future Joe has a map with the identification numbers of three kids to kill. The time travel concept leads to some great scenes filled with twists and moral dilemmas as both Joes try to change “their” future. Along the way, the Joes encounter a mystery woman (wonderfully played by Emily Blunt), and Jeff Daniels delivers an incredible performance as a gangster from the future.

Even if you are not a thriller/sci-fi fan, “Looper” is a must-see because it’s fresh and a scary harbinger of the future. Remember HAL killing people in “2001: A Space Odyssey”? And now, Siri helping us organize our lives, no-driver electric cars in California. “Looper” gives us a timely glimpse of possibilities for the not-too-distant future. Really, are this movie’s visions of time travel and people with telekinetic abilities so outrageous? I recommend you go see it and decide for yourself.