Time travel is a well-worn topic in science fiction movies but can be rather hit-or-miss. Ever since Skynet resistance leader John Connor sent fellow Kyle Reese back in time to save his mom from a killer cyborg sent from the future to terminate her, I've found the so-called ‘time travel paradox’ utterly fascinating. Hence, there was absolutely no question that I would check 'Looper' out.
And I'm glad to report that ‘Looper’ exceeded even my jaded expectations. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as two versions of the same person (Joe), this movie gives time travel a fresh new spin and is not only action-packed but thought provoking, a cerebral sci-fi thriller that makes you think. Set in the dystopian future of 2074 when time travel is officially outlawed and only conducted in secret by powerful criminal organizations, ‘Loopers’ are professional hitmen who await their 'assignments' to be sent to them 30 years back in time (in 2044, that is) for 'liquidation' so that they cannot be traced. Pretty clever, huh? And when an assassin’s older self is sent back for termination by his younger self (unbeknownst to the younger, of course), it’s called ‘closing the loop.’ Cute.
Without giving away any details that would spoil the movie, suffice it to say that ‘Looper’ tackles not only the usual ‘cause and effect’ issues associated with time travel but also raises the popular ethical/philosophical question of whether it is morally justified to go back in time to kill Hitler (or any other monster) when he was still an 'innocent' child, at a time when he can theoretically still be guided and nurtured to do good instead of evil. Granted, the 'Rainmaker' isn't exactly Hitler, but you get my drift.8 out of 10