Time travel hasn't been invented in the year 2044, but it will have been in the not-too-distant future. That's not too difficult to understand, right? It gets better. In a dismal future in which time travel will have been invented and thus deemed illegal (go figure), victims of the mob are targeted and sent back through time to be disposed of by assassins known as "loopers." Make sense now?
For those unfamiliar with director Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom), take note. The dude is big time. Looper finds Johnson once again reunited with actor Joseph Gordon Levitt. The duo first teamed up in 2006 for the brilliantly conceived high-school noir, Brick. Cut to six years later, and the result is the same.
Levitt plays Joe, looper and everyman looking to save up enough bars of silver (the accepted currency for loopers, apparently) to one day quit the life of an assassin and move to France where he can live out the rest of his days in peace and tranquility.
That is until a crime lord known as The Rainmaker rises to power in the future and decides to "close everyone's loop," thus sending loopers from the future back through time to be disposed of by their younger selves (now that's what I call a pink slip).
So when Joe's future self-in-me (Bruce Willis) is sent back through time as his next target, he must try to eliminate him in order to be able to live out his next 30 years before history repeats itself and he eventually ends up dying at the hands of his younger self all over again, or something to that effect.
If Drive was the breakout movie of 2011, Looper is for 2012. And just like it's 2011 counterpart, it's the film (at least as far as the average filmgoer is concerned) that will henceforth be responsible for catipulting Levitt and Johnson to the ranks of the elite, a la Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn in 2011.
Going into the film, Levitt was on record as saying Looper was to be the most important film of his career to date. One doesn't have to be from the future to see he was right.