Now that Prometheus is in theaters (and causing all sorts of debate), the next big sci-fi film on the 2012 docket is Rian Johnson’s Looper, which tells the tale of a young hitman (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) with a unique job description: he eliminates targets sent back in time by mobsters in the future. The twist comes when Levitt’s character, Joe, is carrying out a routine execution – only to discover the target is the older version of himself (played by Bruce Willis).
The first Looper trailer set up that initial premise described above, while highlighting the film’s futuristic action and the many chase sequences that ensue as young Joe hunts old Joe, and the mob hunts them both. The second Looper trailer and international trailer give us more of the storyline, thematic arcs, including how the characters played by Emily Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau) and Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) fit into the plot.
Daniels’ character in particular has been something of a mystery during the early stages of Looper‘s development. Going by the edits in this trailer below, it is now safe to assume (courtesy of voice-over) that Daniels will be playing one of the head mobsters in the future – possibly the target known as “the rainmaker” that old Joe tells young Joe they must eliminate in the past. Blunt will play the love interest of Young Joe, who gets caught in the middle of the feud between the younger and older versions of her lover (talk about awkward…). Also making an appearance is Garrett Dillahunt (Raising Hope) and Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood), who seem to play other ‘Loopers’ (hitmen) who are either after Joe, friends with Joe, or a combination of both.
Now check out the Looper International Trailer:
This new trailer also introduces a lot of the interesting philosophical quandaries that Johnson – a filmmaker known for bringing gourmet food for thought to familiar genre tropes (see: Brick) – will be exploring. Time travel films have become a virtual headache for both filmmakers and audiences (see: Men In Black III), as they tend to come with convoluted logistics and inevitable narrative paradoxes. However, here Johnson seems to use the (oft-gimmicky) plot device for more purposeful means, ostensibly as a method for raising questions about the path life takes us down, and how the choices we make effect us in the long-term in regards to who we are, and who we become.
While the action scenes and sci-fi tropes all look suitably entertaining, for my money it will be the scenes of young/old Joe sitting down to discuss their connection and history (or in young Joe’s mind, the lack thereof) that will really be the captivating aspect of the movie. We heard tell of how young Joe, confronted by the reality of his future, will start to question and/or change it, resulting in physical changes (and for JGL, various makeup alterations) that make him look more (or less) like older Joe. Should be an interesting ride.
Looper will be in theaters on September 28, 2012.