In 2072, it's impossible to kill a person.

Living people can be tracked and, when they're no longer living, the authorities are alerted. Pity the mafia, which faces the prospect of not killing anyone it wants killed.

Luckily for future bad guys, there's time travel, so the mafia sends the poor souls they want dispatched to the past. Disappearances don't raise hackles—presumably because, when the body disappears, it's technically alive.

Those who commit these mafia killings are "loopers." Killing someone is "closing the loop."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a looper who runs into a problem with a loop he can't close, namely his older self (Bruce Willis).

The first 30 minutes of this movie are fascinating. So are the last 30. Unfortunately, we have to contend with the middle 58, which are dull and filled with the pseudo-intellectual silliness one might find in a lazy undergrad's haphazardly researched paper on logic and reasoning.

At least the time travel seems to hold up. Then there's Gordon-Levitt's prosthetic make-up. He's been altered to look like Willis but the changes in his eyes and face are just distracting. He and Willis do well enough, but Emily Blunt is wasted.

Regal Santa Fe Stadium 14, R, 118 min.