“Looper”: A nicely-made science fiction!

21 Oct

Saturday night, kids are in bed and baby sitter (yes, her task literally is to sit on our orange couch and watch the UT game!!) is here. We decided this is the movie night: “The Master” or “Looper“.  The Master is what hubby wanted to watch for a while but I heard The Master is very depressing. Maybe we should watch it next time when we feel life is so beautiful.  I’m always  interested in science fiction, so Looper it is!

The movie is written by its director Rian Johnson which is his third movie. The movie obviously can be categorized as a dark science fiction. Well, can I think of any science fictions about human’s future that are not dark? Nope, human are lack of confidence on our own future. Nonetheless, I like the movie and the characters.

The story begins with a young, good-looking looper, Joe, who lives in the year of 2044 and makes a living by killing the victims  in a Kansas corn fields, whom are time-transferred by future crime organizations to the year of 2044 from the year of 2074 due to the difficulties of disposing their bodies secretly. Occasionally, the loopers have to kill their own old man version of themselves, knowing that from that moment they have exactly 30 years to live. This is so-called closing the loop. Some people in 2044 also possess telekinetic powers, moving the small objects by their mind power. Joe has been saving his income, silver bars and studying French for his retirement. Abe is the boss who was transferred from future to manage the loopers. He suggests Joe to go to China instead of France (Go to China, I tell you. I’m from future).  The future Joe’s wife (a Chinese lady, Xu  Qing 许晴. She is popular in Chinese TV shows but I have not seen her in movies. )is killed on the day he is captured. So future Joe comes back to 2044 with the intend to kill the future crime master, the rainmaker, in his childhood. There are three candidates born on the same day in the same hospital. The present Joe goes to a farmhouse where one of the candidates, Cid,  lives and tries to protect Cid and his Mom, Sarah. During his stay, he witnesses Cid’s horrendous telekinetic power and learns that  his uncontrolled power killed Cid’s own aunt. Joe realizes that Cid is the rainmaker. But he also witnesses the love of Sarah is helping Cid to control his telekinetic power. When future Joe comes to the farm and tries to kill Cid, Sarah stands between her child and future Joe. The present Joe realizes that the future Joe’s assassination of Sarah will turn young Cid into future crime master, closing the time loop. So he shoots himself to let the future Joe disappear and saves both Sarah and Cid.

The whole movie is quite well-made with the right amount of humor. The acting is natural; I particularly like Sarah (Emily Blunt, remembering her face in Devil wears Prada), and of course the story itself. The whole movie is trying to show one thing “The cause is the result and the result itself is the cause.” Future is full of possibilities; every event is a node that can branch to different routes. Even the present that all the passing events leads to is only one of the possible routes and can be changed if one past node is changed.

One debate I have is  the future Joe goes back to 2044 to kill the rainmaker in order to save his wife. Even he is successful, he can’t go back to 2074 since time machine has not been invented and he has to wait the present Joe to meet his wife again. However, the present Joe for sure will choose different life style after experiencing all these. And The future Joe should die before the present Joe. So there is no guarantee that he will even marry to the same woman!

One detail I think the author overlooked is that on the morning the old Joe is captured, his wife woke up earlier and softly stroke his foot. Back to 2044 the farmhouse, Sarah woke up Cid with the same exact stroke! At that moment, I thought. “Ah! There is some connection between his own wife and the rainmaker.” Obviously there is no further indication on that in the film. I would make the film more dramatized by connecting those two dots if I were Rian Johnson.

On a whole, it is worth watching movie, except … it is kind of awkward to see Bruce and Qing kissing …

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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


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