It's another semi-bleak peek at the future, although this one concentrates on our main characters and doesn't dwell too much on what appears to be an unpleasant environment.
"Loopers" are assassins living in the "present" who are trained to show up with a nasty weapon and wait and victims of the future mob are delivered via time travel. Just carry your accurate timepiece, wait at the appointed spot and when the guy appears, blow him away , then dispose of the body. For this, you are rewarded with bars of silver to stow away for you retirement.
The "Looper" we follow is Joe, played by Joseph Gordon Levitt. A fine actor, and in this role he's as you've never seen him before. Literally - his face was made over so he looks like a younger version of Bruce Willis, which came out terrific, but more on that later. As for being a killer, Joe's good at it, a bit jaded and a huge drug addict. To have something to live for, he studies French and plans to live in
This is not the best part of the movie - who would take a job as a hit man in the first place, but who would do it knowing someday you have to kill yourself? But as I said, it looks like times are tough and this may at least be a way to get rich young and not think about the future.
Which brings us to the day Bruce Willis shows up as the older Joe and its time to pull the trigger. Yep, that doesn't happen and all hell breaks loose. This is where the story gets good, and without the headache of trying too hard to explain time travel and the whole idea of two versions of the same guy in the same world at the same time. That could have killed things.
Now the chase is on, Joe going after older Joe, older Joe trying to set a new future for "both" of them, and the people in charge of the whole "Looper" program trying to catch both Joes. It's well written, well acted and actually all made sense. Jeff Daniels takes a turn as the big man in charge of Joe and the other Loopers, and it's a calm, subtle performance with just the right tone of ruthlessness and necessity.
But the real twist comes from two more people - a woman (Sara, played by Emily Blunt) and a boy named Cid she is looking after. I won't ruin much of the storyline here, but these two give the whole plot new focus and meaning. Lets just say both Joes want to get to these two, but for what reasons and ends I'll leave a mystery. It's a well thought out time traveler mind bender and I was there every step of the way. Which also led me to a rare predicament - I was pretty much rooting for both Joes and the woman and the boy. They all somewhat had my sympathies and you're watching this knowing you probably can't have your way here by the end.
That was a nice break from my torment lately of not caring about most people I see on screen. "Looper" is a classic case of good storytelling, suspense and a bit of science fiction all coming together. I give it a "9".