Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings life to “Looper” in science fiction must see

There are no limits when it comes to time travel. Take the mob for example. If they wanted, they could send their targets back in time to await assassination by a present day hit man. It is this very concept that is pulled off brilliantly in the new sci-fi thriller Looper.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, a “looper” in the year 2044 who works for the mob of the year 2074. Time travel hasn’t been invented yet, but by 2074 it will be. When the mob wants to kill someone, they send the target back in time for a looper so the target will have never existed.

Joe is living the high life until he is asked to “close the loop” and kill his future self. The older Joe (Bruce Willis) is on a mission to change his future, and not even his younger self will get in his way.

While Willis does wonders as the scarred older Joe, Levitt’s youthful charisma gives the film its beating heart. Their performances combined create one character, and the two make their roles their own without trying to copy each other’s mannerisms.

Action fans will have their fill, but the middle act slows the pacing to develop the characters and story. While it drags slightly at this section, the film picks up for an engaging climax that’s as sad as it is optimistic.

What really sets this movie apart, however, is a time travel story that’s easy to follow but intelligent enough to leave the audience thinking. Thanks to some philosophical ideas on fate and choice, the film has plenty of substance to go along with its futuristic style. Looper is one of the best science fiction films in recent memory, and is definitely one to make time for.