A young man in 2044 makes his living by bumping off future mafia hits. His employers, from the year 2074, send the victims back thirty years for Joe to kill and dispose of, thus creating the perfect crime. All is going well until one day he sees himself come from the future.
There is a scene in the film where Joe from the future (Bruce Willis) is having a conversation with his younger self (Joseph Gordon-Levit). Young Joe is trying to sort this mess out, questioning the causality of the situation. Old Joe rebuffs this, saying if they go down this road they’ll be there all day “drawing diagrams with straws”.
When regarding time travel films there are two ways you go about it:
1. Forget the science, enjoy the film.
2. Try to work everything out during the film, get confused, enjoyment factor could suffer or be heightened depending on individual.
I would recommend number 1. But good luck with that.
From the beginning of the film you know you’re going to be watching something a bit different and something worth your time. The story sets itself up very quickly and it is a very fast paced first act. It is extremely referential. You could see dozens of films as references from Terminator, Source Code and Moon to Blade Runner, 12 Monkeys and on and on and back and forth and all these little homages and winks to other films somehow help create a film with real energy and excitement. The violence is executed brilliantly; Bruce Willis’ scene in a corridor, chopping down bad guys is almost like a scene from a John Woo film from the nineties. There is a negative: around the half way mark there is an act set on a farm which doesn’t live up to the beginning or the end of the film. It’s not even that long but does drag after the brilliant first 45 minutes. I really enjoyed the film, will be watching it again very soon and look forward to picking holes in it for years to come.