Director: Rian Johnson
Year Released: 2012
In the future, a system is set up by the Mob to take a person, transport him/her via time machine to thirty years in the past where they'll be executed, which poses a problem for smooth assassin/drug addict Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) when his future self (Bruce Willis) is tossed in front of him ... and his future self is bent on killing a child with telekinetic powers who would (as an adult) ruin his life. Once again, Johnson shows a keen expertise on the mechanics of filmmaking - and yes, I too have seen The Terminator, Akira, Primer, Inception, 12 Monkeys and the movies of Johnnie To - but at its core this is really just a movie that's about movies (to echo Kael's quote about empty-headed filmmakers who know nothing about life): in order to accept the Gordon-Levitt character's 'killer-with-a-heart-of-gold's' self-sacrifice (for some hackneyed concept of 'family' he just learns) in the last third, it would be helpful if his character was a plausible human being to begin with (the pivotal scene where he has a conversation with his older self in a diner simply doesn't ring true from a psychological perspective). The contrivances (and, consequently, plot holes) keep things moving the way Johnson mapped the thing out in his head, but I'm with the Bruce Willis character: if you could travel back in time - knowing what we know now - and eliminate Hitler in Child Form, would you do it? The answer is always Yes. Saying "No" - and then committing suicide - is a cheap way out.