Time-travel movies almost always make your head hurt. Has there ever been a screenwriter who succeeded in battening down all of the genre’s rampant temporal improbabilities?
By now, the most efficient way to finesse this in-built problem is simply to laugh at it. And so in the new “Looper,” in a scene set in a diner, we have one character saying to another, “I don’t wanna talk about time travel. We’ll be here all day drawing diagrams with straws.” In other words, let’s move right along.
“Looper” is a very good time-travel movie. Writer-director Rian Johnson has come up with a nifty sci-fi hook, and he keeps as tight a rein as possible on the story’s twisty internal logic. The year is 2044; the place, Kansas City, Kansas–here, a familiar dystopian hellhole.
Our protagonist, a young guy named Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), tells us in voiceover that time travel hasn’t been invented yet–but that 30 years in the future it has. Thus, the powerful mob of the future, run by a fearsome crime lord called the Rainmaker, is able to send any poor saps who’ve incurred the kingpin’s displeasure back in time to be terminated, their bodies to be disposed of in the past, where future cops can never find them.
Read the full review at Reason.com