ANYWAY. Things that time-travel is used for in Looper, Rian Johnson's third film, starring Joshua Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, and Emily Blunt:
- Underplayed irony.
- Hair-raising body horror.
- Establishing undeniable but asymmetric connections between "different" characters.
- Providing Jeff Daniels with enough gravitas to basically do a decent impression of Jeff Bridges.
- An excuse for putting Joshua Gordon-Levitt in makeup that makes him look like a young Bruce Willis.
Things that time-travel is not used for: providing a clear, consistent and linear series of events that definitely happen. In fact, not one but two characters explain that this is not a useful or worthwhile way to spend your time. I wrote something a long time ago about the distinctions between sci-fi films (resolution makes logical sense) and fantasy films (resolution makes emotional sense) - I am wondering if some of the complaining and overthinking I've seen about Looper would be if it was a magical portal that chucked you into the past, rather than a science fiction device.
Anyway - it is very good, it deals in emotion rather than logic, but it earns the emotions and you will like it (I think).