'Looper': An Ingenious and Exhilarating Depiction of Futuristic Advances in Time Travel Technology
"Looper" (2012) is an ingenious and electrifying science-fiction action thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe, a hired gun "looper" for a Kansas City crime syndicate circa 2044. Unable to dispose of his victims in the present due to advanced futuristic tracking technology, Joe employs time travel to transport the newly deceased to the past in order to obscure their demise. With loopers programmed to eliminate their own future self once their alter-ego becomes obsolete and is returned to the past for extermination, Joe faces a severe dilemma when his future self (Bruce Willis) arrives unwilling to yield to death—instead launching himself on a violent campaign to eliminate a shadowy figure know only as "The Rainmaker". Young Joe soon finds himself racing against time in a desperate bid to safeguard a young boy named Cid (Pierce Gagnon) along with his mother Sara (Emily Blunt) from both his elder self as well as a cadre of lethal agents operating at the behest of his syndicate boss Abe (Jeff Daniels). Written and directed by neo-virtuoso Rian Johnson ("The Last Jedi", "Knives Out"), "Looper" is a superbly dynamic conception, showcasing remarkable acumen and striking creativity within the framework of a big-budget cinematic enterprise. Johnson imbues the narrative with a cavalcade of wonderfully innovative ingredients, working with his long-time cinematographer Steve Yedlin to formulate a unique and visually exquisite showpiece. A prodigious achievement at nearly every level, it's one of the finest big studio successes of the entire decade.