This is a counter argument to Ben Fees review: https://www.geek-pride.co.uk/movie-review/looper-2012-review-the-argument-against/
[box_dark]**Potential spoilers in this article ***[/box_dark]
Straight to the point:
A man traveled back in time to prehistoric ages and stepped on a butterfly, and the universe was entirely different when he got back.
As my esteemed colleague Ben pointed out, Looper had an amazing trailer, amazing enough that it made me go watch it, even after seeing the aforementioned trailer before Silent Hill (a horrific enough experience to put me off spending money at the movies). But while the trailer made sure to show the most impressive parts of the movie, it stole nothing from the actual film.
I admit that some of what Ben has pointed out had crossed my mind while I was watching it, trying to figure out things from a whovian perspective, things such as why don’t specific events in the present actually alter the past? Why doesn’t the fact that Seth has lost all of his limbs and is thus unable to participate in the future erase the existence of his old self? And since it’s so easy to remove him from an active past, why was it so hard to kill him in the first place, since technically he can’t exist there anymore? Yes, these are questions that I asked myself over and over again as I was watching the movie, but ultimately the movie isn’t really about the time theories, it’s not about whether or not the laws by which that particular universe operates are accurate. Instead it’s about something much simpler, the human instinct to survive, to fight against the worst possible odds and win. While Ben has made no mention of this, it’s also about self-sacrifice and even love.
Joe is the vehicle for this point to come across, both his young self (Joseph Gordon Levitt) and his older self (Bruce Willis) struggle against the world, and history, and time and space, they struggle to find their place and once they found it, they want to keep it, they want to live the way they have chosen, not under the rules of anyone else. Yes, we can dissect the lack of scientific accuracy, we can find the flaws in Joseph’s make-up (something that I found particularly distressing and disturbing during the movie) or we can focus on the fact that everyone seemed to be telekinetic, but that’s just it, the movie isn’t about that. Perhaps it’s just my perspective of it, but just as The Walking Dead is not about Zombies, nor was this movie solely created for the purpose of explaining time travel for dummies, while being scientifically accurate. The young-Joe vs old-Joe storyline is a way of showing both the struggle for survival that’s apparent in both generations, and also that no matter how wise we think we are, we can’t shape the past, the present or the future by merely claiming we know better.
Countering Ben’s points:
As well as the solar-cars and some electric vehicles, characters often ride around on flying bikes seemingly built around a single jet engine. I know, it’s poking holes for the sake of poking holes but what, you have fuel for personal jet engines but your cars have to be powered by something else?
While the movie wasn’t long enough for us to learn about the economic situation of the world in that year, why can’t we assume that something is making them reserve flying bikes that use fuel to those that are rich? Things look rather bleak for everyone other than those in positions of power and for trained assassins, what if the rest of the world simply has to deal with using alternative means of powering their vehicles? Like free for all solar power? Or since we are in the business of assuming, what if there was a ban on the amount of fossil fuel people were allowed to use and they had to deal with what they had? That’s not accounting for wars with the countries that own the largest supply of oil on the planet or hell, the bloody Apocalypse.
And it’s not even like these people having telekinesis furthers the plot. There is zero reason why anyone in this film needs super powers – if anything the film makes more sense without them.
Actually…the kid – Cid – is the one that was meant to become the Rainmaker, his desire to kill all assassins fueled by the fact that his own mother would’ve been murdered by future-Joe in order to maintain the illusion of his happy life, with his lovely wife. Ultimately this movie was a self-fulfilling prophecy, when if future-Joe had simply rolled over and died, nothing would’ve happened. But since Joe started to change the present, the future altered accordingly, culminating with Joe’s suicide that effectively erased the timeline, leaving the chance for Cid to become a good person rather than a crazy assassin. Since he was just a child, it would’ve been hard to explain his relationship with his biological mother, or his ability to compel people into doing his bidding in 30 years, if they didn’t add a little twist – the telekinesis. Now, since you mentioned X-Men, we all know that a single person possessing a specific power would’ve become a target for hate and abuse, but since that wasn’t the focus of the movie, they simply chose to say that 10% of the population have it, thus making it mundane enough for everyone to be unfazed by flying coins. And honestly? The kid would’ve been 90% less creepy without the ability to kill you with his mind.
Now, to get to what I loved about the movie: Joseph Gordon Levitt’s performance, the one thing Ben and I actually agree on, was fantastic. I saw a tweet from Jim Beaver who once worked with a younger Bruce Willis and he claimed that even with the make-up, Joseph looked nothing like him, but it took nothing from the man’s performance. He was absolutely fantastic as he is in most of his roles. What I am afraid of though is that he’s becoming so overused, there were two trailers for movies with him at the cinema running at the same time. Pace yourself, Joseph…there’s still time.
Bruce Willis actually surprised me, it’s been a while since I’ve seen him in action and I wasn’t expecting much, but it was good, the way he managed to convey his emotions towards the situation, while maintaining a stoic face got him extra brownie points for me. Combine his attitude with the special effects that really made me sit at the edge of my seat and you have a recipe for success. This might not be “the next Matrix,” but it works well enough for it not to have to be the next anything and stand on its own two feet.
What else? (Yes, I’m stealing Ben’s review template)
The movie was great, go watch it and judge it by yourselves. While reviews might make you pay more attention as to where you spend your money, ultimately they are subjective. That being said, the movie is good, I’m right, Ben isn’t and with that, ladies and gentlemen, I close my argument.