March 1, 2024

If You Liked That, You’ll Love This: Looper (2012)

Just like the “Because You Watched…” lane that pops up on your favorite streaming service, Now Playing Podcast wants to help you find the perfect companion flicks. Each week, contributor Chris Bravo brings you fresh recommends that tie in with one of our reviews.

The second season of Loki continued the tropes of the first season with multiple timelines, multiple versions of characters, and lots of time-bendy shenanigans (including a Groundhog Day riff). And while Tom Hiddleston didn’t have to contend with multiple versions of Loki as he did in the previous season, he did have to grapple with at least one version of himself, as well as an alternate Jonathan Majors character.

I have a darker, more serious take on the time-traveling tropes to offer you: Looper (2012), starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt, and directed by surely your favorite Star Wars director, Rian Johnson. You get a dilapidated near-future world in which time-traveling doesn’t exist, but time-traveling people condemned by future gangs do. And with this stark set-up, you have brutal executions, drug-fueled clubbing, and lots of moral implications about fate and sacrifice.

Much like in LokiLooper also has a morally gray character that is tough to predict. Gordon-Levitt plays an assassin who asks no questions, collects his pay, and plays hard. But when one of his targets is a little too tough to kill, we see the cool demeanor begin to crack. And just as Loki grew a heart over the course of his time in the MCU, Gordon-Levitt’s character begins to question his own lifestyle. Throw in badass Bruce Willis and tough-as-nails Emily Blunt for some dramatic action, and this film captivated me to the very end. If you’re up for a darker, more serious take on the dangers of time-travel, then Looper should fit the bill.

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