This weekend Looper, a gritty time-travel thriller from writer/director Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) arrives in movie theaters across the United States. The story: Powerful crime organizations in the late 21st century can’t off their foes without getting caught, so they illegally send victims back in time to the year 2044 to be disposed of by hitmen called “loopers.” Looper's time travel, in short, is a futuristic version of the East River.
Though gunning down folks from the future is profitable, it comes at steep personal cost. Thirty years after Joe the looper (played by both Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt with some Bruce-Willis-like makeup) signs up, crime bosses nab him, send him into the past, and force his past self to kill his future self -- an attempt to close his “loop." This is the standard for loopers: live well, but live fast, and when your time comes, your younger self will be your killer.