The latest international trailer for Rian Johnson’s Looper brings out the All You Zombies treatment in full force. If you’ve read that old Heinlein story, you’ll get the reference of circularity, and if not, then you should read it immediately. I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice to say, it takes the notion of a time traveller being tasked with killing his older self to even greater heights of gorgeous paradox.
Here’s the trailer, with what might possibly be French subtitles, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Rian Johnson certainly has the credibility to pull off a brilliant and intelligent movie after Brick and Brothers Bloom, although there wasn’t a hint of science fiction in his previous work. We can forgive that, I suppose.
What makes this film so exciting is that it seems to capture that essence of the best time travel stories. Good time travel stories allow us to change the past, but great ones are fundamentally about futility, about how whatever change we could have made, has already been made. These stories are the fantastic four dimensional loops, the ones in which the first scene of the film is the same as the last scene, not because of a flashback, but because we fully traverse the knot of time.
Looper feels like those great stories do, and not just because Bruce Willis still hasn’t found any monkeys.