Captured By The Future & The Past: What Is The Essence Of The Film Looper? Looper (2012): Plot Summary, Meaning, Explanation Of The Ending Of The Film With Bruce Willis, Similar Tapes
Genre: fantasy, action, thriller, drama
Year of production: 2012
Directed by: Rian Johnson
Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt
tagline: “Caught in the future. Trapped in the past”
Speaking of Rian Johnson’s Looper, one cannot avoid comparing this film to the works of Robert Heinlein and Clifford Simak. The fantastic plot of the film “Time Looper” with Bruce Willis reveals social problems, and the story itself evokes mixed emotions. The main theme of the film is the problem of choice. And life is presented here as a tree of branches-events – and not only we decide what will happen next …
What is the movie about
Brief description of the content of the film Looper. 2044 year. The protagonist of the picture, a young man named Joe Simmons, is an inhabitant of the “brave new world”. Simply put, he lives in a dystopian universe that includes a weak government and a corrupt corrupt police force. The real power here belongs to people with gray morals, who, at best, neglect the laws, and at worst, come up with their own.
The role of Joe Simmons was played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Frame from the film.
Mafia leaders, well aware of the strengthening of state power in 2074, found a convenient way out to solve all their problems. Now people who are objectionable to the mafia are sent with the help of an illegal time machine to the past – to 2044. Loopers (killers) meet them there and deal with them. It is this “noble” thing that Joe is busy with.
It is noteworthy that the associated victims appear in 2044 with payment: the bars attached to them can be either gold or silver. The higher payment (i.e. gold bars) the looper receives for eliminating himself: this allows him to close the time loop. This is what can be called the most important condition of a terrible contract. It is also creepy because it stipulates the following: in 2074, the killer, who, in particular, is a dangerous witness, will be sent into the past – and also disposed of by another looper.
Joe has a friend Seth. Young people were quite indifferent to the prospect of killing themselves in adulthood – until the next victim of the mafia appeared in their time. Seth, recognizing himself in the elderly man, refused to pull the trigger and allowed the victim to escape. Realizing that he had just gotten into big trouble, Seth turned to Joe for help. He, however, was forced to “surrender” his friend to the authorities – and Chief Abe assured him that nothing threatened the disobedient. Nevertheless, the “young” Set was executed, and soon they got to the “old” Set.
For Joe, this was a real shock. However, he knew perfectly well that he lived in a wolf world, and continued to work. He soon retired and went to Shanghai, where he met a girl and married her. It soon became clear that if Joe broke with the underworld, then the underworld did not break with him: in 2074, mafia operatives came to Joe’s house and said that they were going to close the time loop. The hero surrendered to them, but at that moment one of the loopers accidentally killed his wife. A shocked Joe killed both loopers and then got into a time machine and traveled back in time.
Bruce Willis as Old Joe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Young Joe. Frame from the film.
Thus, the time loop remained open and this led to a change in the past: in 2044, “old” Joe turned from a victim into a predator. He stunned his “young” self and went on the run. Having come to his senses, “young” Joe set off on the trail of himself in order to finish what he started.
“Old” Joe set out to avenge the death of his wife. He soon realized that for this he needed to destroy the entire criminal structure, and this could only be done after the elimination of the head of the Shaman mafia. The situation became morally ambiguous, because in 2044 the future head of the underworld was only five years old …
“Young” Joe, meanwhile, was desperately trying to solve his problems. Chance introduced him to a single mother named Sarah. The young woman lived on a farm and raised her son Sid, an unusually smart, but very strange boy.
Soon “old” Joe also arrived at the farm, who by that time had managed to find out that Sid was the future Shaman…
At the end, she’s the main characters of the film “Time Looper” met face to face again. “Old” Joe tried to kill Sid, but only wounded him. Sarah, trying to save her son, died, and “young” Joe, watching the terrible scene, suddenly realized that he was in a chronoparadox known as the “time loop”.
He also realized that he created all his problems for himself. That is, in the final it turns out that he has been traveling from the past to the future for a long time and repeats the same mistake – he is trying to eliminate Sid.
The meaning of his mistake lies in the fact that Sid became a Shaman precisely because of the death of his mother, which happened before his eyes. Having survived the strongest stress, he became embittered and turned into a real monster. That is, the terrible meaning of everything that happens is that the monster, through whose fault so much blood was shed (including the blood of Joe’s wife), was created by Joe himself.
Paul Dano as Sid. Frame from the film.
The explanation for the ending is pretty simple. “Young” Joe soon realizes that it is impossible to explain this pattern to the “old” one: he is blinded by a thirst for revenge. He also understands that he can only stop himself in one way.
He shoots himself, after which the “old” Joe disappears. It turns out that he never existed, because “young” Joe changed his future.
The meaning of the ending of the film “Time Looper” looks like this: the main character of the film dies on a farm. From this we can conclude that he will never get into a story with the Shaman, and, accordingly, will not return from the future to the past.
Sid will not become a Shaman – Joe’s act, in fact, gives him a chance to grow up as a normal person, not connected with the underworld. That is, the idea is that one looper, by sacrificing his life, not only saved several lives, but also changed the future for the better.
At the very end of the picture, the surviving Sarah discovers gold bars in the van, which Joe was supposed to receive for his work. The finale of the picture suggests that she will manage the money as needed and provide her unusual son with a decent future.
The meaning of the film Looper
The epigraph for Looper could probably be a quote from Cloud Atlas, which captures the essence of the film. It sounds like this: “From birth to death, we are connected with others, past and present. And each of our misdeeds, like every good deed, gives birth to our future.”
In their analysis, viewers who are trying to find a hidden meaning in the Looper note the metaphorical nature of the picture. In fact, we are talking about the very journey through time that every person makes during his life. This happens every time we face the consequences of a decision we made in the past.
Not everyone can imagine what will happen in the future from what he has done now – whether in his own life or in someone else’s. Some, faced with the terrible consequences of their actions, refuse to accept reality as it is, and blame everyone but themselves for the troubles that have arisen.
Looper shows this beautifully. At first, the picture seems like a typical sci-fi action movie, but when “old” Joe appears on the scene, it acquires genuine drama.
Joe is a tragic hero, although, undoubtedly, it is difficult to unequivocally sympathize with him, because he, solving his problems, does not take into account anything. But still, Joe is a product of an inhuman era, and in the Looper universe, he simply could not be a humanist. And yet, for every monster there is a beauty. Once falling in love, he changed. Gave me some slack. Allow yourself to be human. And from a cog in a monstrous system, he turned into its victim.
In fact, this is far from a new idea in cinema – we have hundreds of films about such cogs that suddenly find themselves in the place of their victims. But in the Looper we also have a wonderful miracle – a time machine. All problems are solved if you yourself are the “god from the machine”. All you need is to jump in time and change your destiny by killing a child who will cause all your suffering in the future…
The role of Sarah was played by Emily Blunt. Frame from the film.
The plot of Looper is based on a parallel drawn between young Sid and the main character of the tape. She, as it were, loops the cause and effect of the evil that, having matured, an unwanted child with a crippled soul will be able to create. And what exactly is in his hands – an ordinary pistol, or some kind of supernatural power – is no longer so important.
While working on the picture, Rian Johnson was more interested not in the scientific justification for traveling from the future to the past, but in characters and personalities. He was interested in how they could behave when they found themselves in a terrible, hopeless situation that suddenly brought them together at a single point in time.
“Looper” is a movie about the problem of choice, which can sometimes become unbearably difficult. It is also a film about one man’s ability to change the course of history – and how far he is willing to go to do so.
Here are a few films that are similar in meaning to Looper:
- Source code (USA, Canada, France, Germany, 2011). Coulter strangely finds himself in a strange body. But this is only half the trouble: he is forced to die in a catastrophe again and again – until he understands who is the culprit of the tragedy;
- In Time (USA, 2011). Will lives in a world where the only currency is time. He is accused of a crime and forced to flee, trying to prove his innocence along the way;
- Inception (USA, UK, 2010). Cobb is a genius thief. However, the events that have taken place in his life force him to take an unusual step: not to steal, but to return an important idea.