If you had to do it all over again, could you still kill your future self in order to live the good life now?
The year is 2044. Time travel hasn’t been invented yet, but it will be… in thirty years. It will also be immediately outlawed, but criminal organizations will use it to send targets back into the past for quiet assassinations, and ‘loopers’ are the trigger men. Loopers are paid in bars of silver for each hit and live the good life, but a day will come when the target is yourself; this is called ‘closing your loop.’ It comes with a golden payday (gold bars instead of silver) and thirty years to enjoy it before the inevitable happens. When the time comes for Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to close his own loop, his future self (Bruce Willis) takes things in a decidedly different direction.
Time travel stories are tricky. Die-hard fans (pun intended) can pick apart the most intricate setup, but it isn’t often when something comes along that re-establishes the genre in a new and fresh way. Looper pulls this off with an incredible cast of performers that sells the concept completely. The film utilizes other sci-fi concepts (telekinesis, for example), but the brief glimpse of this near future is so rife with rich detail that suspending disbelief and drawing viewers quickly into the story is effortless. In spite of a bleak world view with no heroes to root for, hope appears and choices are made, and this is where Looper shines and excels.