Looper– best time travel flick since 12 Monkeys?

That’s what the critic from the Hollywood Reporter wrote about Looper, which came out in 2012. Since 12 Monkeys came out in 1995, that’s covering a lot of ground. Hmm 17 years, or today as we Time Patrol people like to say.

Time Magazine reviewed Looper as Quentin Tarantino and Philip K. Dick mashed together.

I thought the movie did some interesting things. One was introducing a storyline that didn’t seem to have a direct relationship to the time travel looping storyline, and respecting that the audience would wait for it to, well, okay, loop back in.

As a writer, I’m a big fan of looping. What I mean by that is that any time something happens in a story, it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Like events in real life, it has reverberations in time, ie in the story. But because the writer is “God” of the story, the writer can loop events back to earlier events to “tighten” down the story. What always amazes me is how often reality loops and since I write what we’ve called “factual fiction” I find many of these loops in my research.

For example, I was just editing a storyline in D-Day, where one of the Time Patrol agents is at West Point in 1843, just before U.S. Grant graduates. The bad guys, ie the Shadow, want to prevent Grant’s graduation. They have a 24 hour bubble in time on that day, 6 June 1843, to do something. The TP agent has that same 24-hour bubble to stop the attempt. I was thinking of how to get Grant in big trouble, and also make it a lose-lose scenario. Where either outcome would be bad for our timeline. The hardest Special Ops training I ever went through was the Robin Sage exercise at the end of the Special Forces Qualification Course. We were constantly thrust into lose-lose scenarios (also known to science fiction fans as Kobayashi Maru scenarios). So I have Grant challenged to a duel. By George Pickett. So if they duel, and either one loses, history is changed. BTW– while Picket, class of ’46, is best known for his ill-fated charge at Gettysburg, he led a very successful charge in the Mexican War, grabbing the U.S. colors from a wounded Lieutenant James Longstreet and leading the way at the Battle of Chapultepec. So he was rather important there. Which BTW is in a free book, West Point to Mexico, in a critical scene, because they also had a bunch of deserters standing in the back of wagons with ropes around their necks and the commanding officer said once the U.S. flag rises over the citadel, the deserters (mostly Irish Catholic who chose to fight for their religion rather than country) would be hung and . . . Then I start going down a rabbit hole of historical details, such as Pickett did challenge Winfield Scott Hancock to a duel in 1849, and Hancock would later be the Union commander behind the stone wall during Pickett’s charge. Looping. It’s the kind of conversations my wife and I have all the time.

So Ivar has to keep both Grant and Pickett from getting killed– or simply thrown out of the Academy because that was the punishment (I guess if you weren’t shot in the duel) for dueling among cadets. I never saw that in the regs when I was there, but then again . . . so that will be one of the storylines in D-Day, coming out next month.

Looping back to Looper, the best part of the movie, no spoiler given here, was the ending. A really good way to close out the story.

What did you think of Looper?

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Originally published at www.writeitforward.com on April 6, 2016.

West Point grad; Special Ops Vet; NY Times bestseller of over 80 books; for free books and over 200 free downloadable slideshows go to www.bobmayer.com

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