Rian Johnson's Looper is a thoughtful, bleak and inventive new spin to the time travel genre. The first act quickly establishes the main protagonists and the economically ravaged future he inhabits. I won't burden you with another re-iteration of the plot, because any of the trailers available on YouTube can do that far more efficiently than I. Let it suffice that the central conceit is the paradox that arises from a hitman meeting his younger self. What I would like to point out that after watching so many poorly conceived films, with little or no narrative, Looper stands out as a piece of thought provoking, quality film making. Mainstream Hollywood needs to take a long hard look at this movie and reacquaint themselves with the proper and full potential of the science fiction genre.
Looper hinges on the dynamic between Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt which works very well. Willis always seems to give his best performances in genre productions, however I would concede that this really Gordon-Levitt's film. His characterisation and deportment is extremely good. The narrative veers from dry asides about the complexity of time travel movie to occasions of quite jolting violence, but keeps you guessing as to where it will ultimately end up. Looper does not make the mistake of wallowing in the excesses of its own scope of vision and has a minimal amount of effects work. Ultimately it is an exploration of whether you can escape your own destiny and a rather sombre, self-contemplative tale.
To say more would be to spoil Looper for those who have not yet seen it, and it is a movie that benefits from as little prior knowledge as possible. That is not to say that it is dependent on a major plot twist in the third act, because it is not. Viewers will however, benefit by reflecting upon what they have seen. Which of course is what quality film making is all about. Rather than being presented with a stereotypical dystopian future, we are shown an all to plausible scenario and characters who face exactly the same moral and ethical issues as we do. That is the movies greatest strength and also its most disturbing quality. The acknowledgement that no matter how much things change, they remain the same.