The sci-fi action movie co-produced by the USA and China Looper (2012) is a film that leaves a strong impression, but each viewer perceives it in his own way. A positive assessment of criticism, a wonderful game of stellar actors, emotionally strong scenes – the pluses clearly outweigh some of the weak points of the script. However, the inconsistencies of the script is a moot point, perhaps ardent opponents simply did not grasp the essence of the plan.
Story by Rian Johnson
Director Rian Johnson, who is also the author of the script, presented his version of chrono-fiction to the attention of the audience.
2044 – times of lawlessness
The middle of the 21st century appears on the screen as a rather gloomy time: devastation, poverty, cruelty. Crime on the streets of the city is a common thing, the inhabitants are armed and easily shoot even petty thieves.
Making money in such conditions is not easy. The protagonist Joe Simmons and his buddies work as time loopers – loopers. In other words, they are killers. Nothing personal, the guys without emotions do their job according to the contract.
The contract must be fulfilled
Looper chief old Abe is abandoned in Kansas from the future. Under his leadership, a strong numerous organization functions, the management of Abe’s iron hand guarantees order and fulfillment by the parties of the terms of the contract.
In 2074, the development of technology led the mafia to some difficulty: the murder became impossible to hide. The illegal use of the time machine solved the problem. Now the bandits began to hire killers in the past and send sentenced people to 2044. There, at the agreed time, the killer meets the victim with a bag on his head and executes the order with one shot.
Close the loop of time
One of the clauses of the contract becomes the requirement to close the loop at the right time. Once a looper is sent himself as an object, only at the age of +30 years. This kill is paid for in gold, after which the contract is closed. Ahead of the former killer thirty years of free life with a pre-known ending.
However, not every looper manages to dispassionately complete the last order. Sometimes even hired killers get on their nerves, and then Abe steps in with his gang of thugs.
Paradoxes of time
When it’s Joe’s turn to close the loop, the audience sees two storylines in the development of his life at once. Who knows which one is true and which one is just a temporary paradox?
After shooting himself in cold blood, Joe closes his contract and travels to China. For the next three decades, he lives in Shanghai. A wild life and craving for drugs lead to the fact that the money quickly ends. The hero again joins the ranks of criminals, murder for him is a long-familiar way of earning money. After 23 years, Joe meets a charming Chinese woman who saves him from drugs and becomes his beloved wife.
But the allotted time is quickly coming to an end. When bandits come for the aged Joe, they kill his wife. The hero decides to go to the past.
The young looper this time fails to shoot his old Bruce Willis counterpart. Conscientious killer Joe intends to correct this omission. Of course, both heroes are ruthlessly pursued by Abe’s men.
Looking for a Shaman
Old Joe is sure that the Shaman, the main mafia from 2074, is to blame for the death of his wife. The hero sets out to kill the Shaman in the past in order to change the future. Little is known about the Shaman, in 2044 he is still a child. Joe calculates three possible candidates and proceeds to eliminate them. The fact that these are innocent children does not stop a professional killer.
Which of the guys is actually the future Shaman? Can Joe change the future and save his love?
Several emotionally powerful scenes from the film set the mood and help to understand the director’s intent.
Betrayal for 30 pieces of silver
There comes a moment when his colleague Seth knocks at Joe’s apartment and asks for help in a panic. The guy “lost the noose”: he recognized himself in the victim and, in confusion, allowed the old Seth to escape. Now Abe’s fighters are chasing him in two reincarnations at once. Joe first allows a friend to hide in a hiding place, but after Abe’s reasoned “request”, he turns the poor fellow over to the killers.
Are you ready to give up your silver to save a friend’s life? The question is rhetorical.
The meeting in Beatrix’s cafe at the same time of two heroes: Joe young and old is an interesting episode. With the baggage of 30 extra years of living, elderly Joe tries to explain something to his limited youngster. And fails: Joe-1 is not ready to hear him, he wants to save his life.
Meanwhile, the thesis that life is just one of many possibilities is not at all devoid of meaning.
Joe will see a mother who gave her life to save her only son, as well as a man who is ready to kill anyone for the sake of his love. Something will change in his mind, at that moment the hero will understand what needs to be done in order to break the endless loop. Spectators expect an unexpected and dramatic ending to the film.
This path turned out to be a loop without end and beginning, and then I broke it.
- The lead actors Joe in real life are not so similar, but the make-up artists really tried. Complex makeup was applied for 3 hours daily. As a result, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the character of Bruce Willis in his youth quite convincingly.
- About $ 30 million was spent on filming, which is quite a bit. No amazing technical innovations from the world of the future are presented, and the time machine works super-simple. At the same time, a simple approach does not reduce the psychological intensity, the entourage corresponds to the plot.
- The main character got the name Joe not by chance. The lead role was originally written for Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
The meaning of the plot
In the process of viewing, the main question arises: is time and everything that happens to us the only possible reality?
It seems that Rian Johnson’s author’s point of view is stated quite clearly. Timeline variability is possible. Any action in the present leads to the emergence of alternative versions of the future. And what it will be – is still unknown.
Looper ending explained
At the end of the sci-fi thriller Loop of Time, a chamber and epic confrontation takes place at the same time. At the end of the film, both Joes meet. While Past Joe deals with Kid, Abe’s henchman, Future Joe tries to kill Sid. Sarah runs with her son to the reeds, and old Joe shoots the child and the bullet wounds his cheek.
In the end, Sara tries to cover Sid with her body in order to save her son from old Joe. And at this very moment, young Joe sees what is happening from the side and realizes that he found himself in that very chronoparadox known as the “time loop”.
In the end, together with Joe-from-the-past, we understand that he created all the problems for himself. And since then, he continues to travel from the future to the past and repeat the same mistake. The bottom line is that it was the death of his mother that greatly influenced the future Shaman: Sid became embittered, stopped restraining his destructive powers, and eventually decided to take revenge on the whole world. As a result, he became a violent criminal leader who instills fear in competitors and ordinary people. And it turns out that it was old Joe who created his main enemy, who will also deprive him of everything in the future.
The final places all points in history. Old Joe made a mistake in the premise and is now stuck in a time loop in which he constantly travels to the past, tries to kill Sid, but instead kills Sarah and creates the future Shaman.
Young Joe realizes that old Joe doesn’t see patterns and constantly makes the same mistake. No wonder: time loops are usually so entangled that it is very difficult to start and end a sequence of events in them. And then Jo-of-the-past decides to stop Joe-of-the-future in the most radical way – he shoots himself in the heart.
As a result, old Joe disappears without a trace, because young Joe changes his future. If he dies on the farm, he will never grow old – therefore, he will not get into the whole bind with the mafia and will not return from 2074 to 2044. And in the end, Sid will be able not only to live the life of a normal person, but also not turn into a cruel monster.
And in the end, the sacrifice of one looper saves many lives. And noticeably changes the future for the better. At the end of the science fiction film Looper, Sarah finds the same gold in Joe-Future’s van. And, it seems, decides to start a new life with his son Sid.
But what really happens at the end of the Loop of Time and how to understand what happened?
The main problem of all works on the theme of time travel is that any actions of their heroes inevitably give rise to numerous chrono-paradoxes that are not so easy to unravel and “reset”. And although temporal fiction relies on solid logical assumptions, the main plot twists in it constantly contradict themselves.
Take, for example, “The Loop of Time”. Despite the fact that everything ended tragically for young Joe, his suicide gave rise to a whole wave of positive events and, oddly enough, led to a happy ending. But did the happy ending really happen?
The time loop is the most insidious temporal paradox. Largely because the loop is almost impossible to break or destroy. Well, suppose that Joe destroyed his future, never grew old, lost his beloved, and did not go to revenge on the past.
But if Future Joe didn’t go to kill Shaman in 2044, then Past Joe never met him. And if they weren’t dating, then there wasn’t the whole sequence of events that resulted in young Joe killing himself. And if he did not do this, then everything starts all over again. And old Joe will inevitably appear in the future and decide to take revenge out of desperation.