Review: Looper Is This Decade’s Matrix (Leo Cosh)
Well I disagree.
While that review line is a great little attention grabber (I’ll admit it it made me want to see it even more) I think it would be better to consider Looper as homage to the Sci-fi films of the last 30 years. The biggest influence would by Blade Runner but I saw a few nods to Minority Report, I, Robot and then just to shake things up, a dash of Pulp Fiction.
For an extremely bare summary, Looper is a story set in 2044, where in the next 30 years time-travel will be invented and subsequently banned. Joe Simmons is a ‘Looper’: a hired gun who assassinates targets sent to him from the future, as the only people who use time travel technology is organised crime groups.
Eventually Loopers end their contract by “closing the loop” and killing their future selves. When Joe fails to do this it leads him on a life changing experience.
The main reason that Looper isn’t “this decade’s Matrix” is the fact that it’s a much more subdued film. There is much more of a focus on Spaghetti Western style gunplay and tension, a severe lack of kung fu and no ‘bullet time’ whatsoever.
However the world of Looper, has a similar dystopian feel to the virtual reality of the Matrix, with only a few examples of future digital technology. Unlike the Ultra-Cyberpunk world that Neo lives in, Looper’s future is bleak and slightly Noir, à la Blade Runner or Se7en.
You still see cyberpunk aesthetics, but they are wonderfully combined with a world we already familiar with; Beaten up cars with solar panels welded to them, “bikes” that are practically jet engines, and a new party drug- narcotic eye drops.
Looper’s story also plays more with comic relief characters and tongue in cheek references; Joe’s narration of the film, the choreography and dialogue and the antics of ‘Kid Blue’ are a few examples. Where The Matrix would take itself seriously, Looper may try cracking a joke.
Finally, Looper doesn’t have the same feel, it doesn’t overplay time travel, or try to instil a certain feeling, it doesn’t bring the same calibre of a Sci-Fi epic, as the Matrix has.
But with a headliner cast like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt and Bruce Willis, you’re definitely in for a wild ride.
Also, there’s a great display of breakout talent here, trust me, You’ll know who it is when you go see it.