Welcome to the Fourth of July post. I’ve cheated a bit and am writing on the Third of July, though that’s neither here nor there because if you’ve subscribed to the email delivery, you probably aren’t seeing this until the Fifth of July. Anyway, how about we look at a script with some fireworks?
Looper is a film that I have read a lot about in my “become a successful screenwriter” circles. It’s lauded for all sorts of things ranging from how time travel is [not] explained to brilliant characterization. It does all of those things, sure, but at heart, it’s a great action story that moves at the pace of a Bourne and I enjoyed it.
I did not watch the movie because there’s a lot of extra content boosting it solidly into ‘R’ territory and as I’ve covered in the past, that’s not entertainment to me. I was hesitant about the script but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by several films and I was curious about the story. I mean really, time traveling hit men? That’s just neat.
The script left nearly everything to the imagination, descriptions were not especially graphic and the adult language was minimal – nothing like trying to read Tarantino. I did find parts of it confusing and flipped back a few pages more than once. I think that’s because the writer was also the director so he knew exactly what he wanted to film and was able to explain things to everyone else on set. I certainly couldn’t get away with some of the scenes, everybody’d be saying, “What?”
The basic premise is here on IMDB. I found the world to be consistent and believable. I really liked how different old and young Joe were. They were the same at the core, but experience and age changed Joe. I also liked that it wasn’t a walk in the park for any of the characters. There were setbacks and then more setbacks. Flashbacks were handled very smoothly. And there was a lot of action.
I read it quickly and wasn’t sure how it was going to end. There were several possible outcomes that would have made sense. I wasn’t expecting the one chosen. But it worked very well. I can see why the script appealed to Bruce Willis.
One of the more “famous” scenes from the film involves old and young Joe sitting in a diner discussing time travel. They don’t explain it. They say it’s complicated and move on. Sometimes you don’t have to explain how everything works, you just need a world where it makes sense that it would be there. Like here, on the train, there are a hundred iPhone. It would take forever to explain how they work to you…
If you like reading scripts or loved the movie, I do recommend Looper but if you’re just getting started there are better choices. It was much easier to follow than Django Unchained but then so was “Canterbury Tales.”