Much of the new time travel/crime thriller Looper takes place in the year 2044, but it's not exactly an optimistic vision of the future.
On the heels of an implied economic collapse, vagrants run rampant across America searching for food; thieves get shot dead in the street and no one bats an eye; and those fortunate enough to have money find themselves addicted to dangerous designer drugs.
It's not a great time for gearheads, either. With a few exceptions, most of the vehicles in Looper are beat-to-hell cars and trucks from the 90s and 2000s jerry-rigged with some kind of apparatus running from their gas tanks to their exhaust pipes. What do these devices do? It's never explained, but my guess is it modifies the cars to run on electricity, solar power or some other fuel of the future. Also, the cops all drive Toyota Camrys. Barf.
But there is hope. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character Joe has one great ride he rocks when he's not assassinating people sent back from the future: a very pristine-looking first generation Mazda Miata, one of our favorite cars around here on Jalopnik. And this one doesn't have any of the modifications that the other cars have. It's all 1990s, baby.
It's a prized possession he keeps hidden under a tarp in a garage, and when it's revealed in the film, it's kind of a magical moment for car geeks. The Miata can be seen in a couple scenes in the movie, most notably when Joe and two of his drug-addled Looper buddies go joy riding through the ravaged future city. You can see it in a few shots in this trailer below.
It's nice to see that in the future, the Miata will be considered a classic car. And it was also nice to see a Hollywood film where the Miata wasn't the butt of some joke, a "chick car," or worse, a "gay car," which is a stereotype I find endlessly stupid and offensive.
If you haven't already, check out i09's Q&A session with Looper director Rian Johnson from earlier this week. And go check out the movie if you haven't already, it's pretty wild.