Looper is set in the future of 2044. Only, for the characters, its the present. Am I confusing you already? HAHA.
Anyway, time-travel won’t be invented for another 30 years (that’s 2074), but it’s immediately outlawed when it does. And only the mafia uses it to dispose of their enemies.
You see, in the future, everyone is tagged with some nanotechnology alarm system, that will notify the police if someone is killed. So, they use the time machine to send their enemies back to 2044 to be killed by Loopers.
Loopers are assassins hired by the mob to do the killing, payment via silver bars strapped to their targets’ backs. Once they receive gold bars, however, it means they have “closed their loop”, essentially killing their future selves.
Young Joe (Joseph Gordon Levitt channeling Bruce Willis with furrowed brows and thick make-up) is a Looper. At designated times, he kills people sent from the future, collects silver bars, and lives the high life (literally, getting high at parties).
Then one day, a man appears, unhooded. Young Joe recognises the man as Old Joe (Bruce Willis), and in hesitation, allows the old man to escape. We already know what happens when Loopers don’t close their loop (nothing good comes out of it). Young Joe must track down old Joe in order to close his loop and collect his retirement paycheck. But old Joe has an agenda of his own.
Oh, also, in the future, telekinesis happens as a mutation in about 10% of the population (and this is important to the plot in the second half of the film).
As a time travel film, I think its pretty decent. I guess the overwhelming reviews sky-rocketed my expectations so much so that I kind of felt that while it was good, it still felt like I’d seen better.
For instance, TimeCrimes (or Los Cronocrímenes), a little spanish flick about time travel, was a much tighter and suspenseful film, delivering way bigger mindfucks all round.
Just a thought – How plausible is it, that when time travel is invented, the mob uses it only to dispose of their enemies, and not to make money? Just think of how inconvenient it will be if just one of them escapes, and then decides to go after the mob when they’re just learning how to walk, or taking a piss in the toilet.