Looper - Can A Film Break Its Own Rules?

  • Published on Oct 19, 2016
  • We've all been told that a story needs rules and after the rules are made, they can't be broken. But there's always an exception. Today I'm looking at one.
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  • Film & AnimationFilm & Animation

Comments • 242

  • Tyler Mowery
    Tyler Mowery  8 months ago +14

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  • Salvador Reyes
    Salvador Reyes 3 days ago

    Since when do people care about fucking rules in movies? What is this, a fucking classroom?

  • Davey Robinson
    Davey Robinson 19 days ago

    What about the wife that got murdered? They go through all that trouble to send people in time just so their bodies can be properly disposed of, then BOOOM! They ice the wife, no big deal?

  • Peter Frank
    Peter Frank 23 days ago

    I don't it "broke" the rules, more like ignore them.

  • Heat Ray
    Heat Ray 24 days ago

    There is another thing that bugged me. The whole looper business exists because it's hard to kill people in future because of some tracker stuff.
    Yet , Joe's wife is casually killed in his backstory.

    It would have made more sense if she was killed by a looper or the movie provided some specific reason to explain why she was killed that way.

  • Kyle McMahon
    Kyle McMahon 26 days ago

    Time travel is too messy, too many paradox’s for a time travel story to make sense

  • Chhavimani Choubey
    Chhavimani Choubey 26 days ago

    Perfect summary

  • gaeb1811
    gaeb1811 29 days ago

    Time travel is paradoxical by nature. In the first terminator movie its the same dynamic, kyle reese is sent to the past because of john connor and john connor exists because of kyle reese...

  • JB_XYZ
    JB_XYZ 29 days ago

    “That time travel shit will fry your brain, kid”

  • Gilliam Flebus
    Gilliam Flebus Month ago

    Looper has one of the worst implementations of time travel of any movie. It's filled with inconsistency.

  • Blamblaster Sidge III

    I disagree. What causes the rainmaker is the mother dying leaving an abandoned and impressionable child who follows the bad path. Many different things could have occurred causing her death. A loop is created when old Joe travels back in time and begins his hunt. New Joe breaks the loop killing himself meaning that old Joe would never exist. The young impressionable boy still could become the rainmaker were his mother to die in some other way. However, the chances of this are curtailed as not only was the main syndicate destroyed by Joe (ridding to an extent some of the corruption in the city), but Sara was left with a shit ton of silver which she could use to ensure their safety and security (reducing the likelihood of her being killed and allowing her all the resources to raise her boy in the best way possible). Basically the original timeline was altered when old Joe decided to kill his guards and go back in time to kill the young rainmaker.

  • Trenton Richmond
    Trenton Richmond Month ago

    All the themes you mentioned yes are great but why use a complicated story element like time travel which will create plot holes ? Not sure if "your not supposed to think about it" is that good a defense. By that logic you can go out of your way to make plot contradictions just to have an emotional scene.

  • near5555555
    near5555555 Month ago

    Whenever you let your loop run it creates a third timeline. This is what screws with the continuity of the film. If you assume all loopers close their loop the movie only consists of two states, future and present. But when you let your future self run a new timeline of your life is created from that point. This is why there is a rainmaker at all points in the movie, only when the second timeline joe saves cid does the third timeline end or merge.

  • Grandpawns Here
    Grandpawns Here Month ago

    01:22 no it doesn't

  • unrepeatable raddish

    this film makes more sense if you consider every change creates another different timeline....its not all a single one

  • unrepeatable raddish

    i thought cid was joe as joe has a scar on his head, sara notices it...i thought that was cid falling down the stairs....but cid cant be joe...cid has brown eyes

  • Simla Ahmed
    Simla Ahmed 2 months ago +4

    The ending was confusing however the movie was so enjoyable.

  • Robert Zipperer
    Robert Zipperer 2 months ago

    The movie is right. Since thy r on the same time line, Bruce Willis would b erased when he killed himself. And the boy will end up good, because his mother will be with him.

  • boutayb abde samad
    boutayb abde samad 2 months ago

    i think u are wrong , joe didn't creat the rainmaker ! i think his mom mentioned that one day was about to be smashed by something and he kept screaming and everything just blown or something ! i believe that when he was created , besides as we have seen through the movie the kid has this ability to lift things in the air before old joe even tried to kill him so your theory is weak, , following the timeline i think when he grew up he become a looper and his life carried on as we saw in the movie until old joe decided to run and pursue himself as a child , younger joe finally figured out at the end that the child is him and to end this loop he has to kill himself

  • Iafiv Iv
    Iafiv Iv 3 months ago

    This is the basic rule of time travel stories.You don't focus on how time travel is supposed to work because obvious contradictions will appear.You focus on the characters and what they become or could become.Smart time travel movies don't overplay the time travel aspect or actually try to explain it.Because newsflash the best physicists on planet Earth cannot find ways to make time travel make sense in a theoretical way.Odds are a Hollywood scriptwriter who barely knows how to count to 10 is not gonna be better at it.

  • gredangeo
    gredangeo 3 months ago +2

    It sounds like The Rainmaker was destined to exist anyways, in the first timeline at least. In timeline of Old Joe, there had to have been somebody else that caused The Rainmaker. When Old Joe came back, a sequence of events changed that made Old Joe the cause of The Rainmaker. In any other timeline sequence, Joe probably attempted to shoot Old Joe, only to killed the mother himself, or failed to shoot in the first place, leaving Old Joe to shoot. For the movie's events, what we saw was a last minute ultimate change, where Young Joe killed himself to prevent Old Joe being the killer.

    But you know what. Let's leave out all of that, because the biggest plot hole of all time is, Is that somehow, these people are bringing back future gold to past selves, and basically recreating new money. How is that not bad for the economy? Where is that gold from anyways? Do both Bars exist in two places at once? What gives?

    I'm willing to forgive the initial plot setup of "not being able to hide a body". You have no movie otherwise. (ok, whatever, "you're in this room now"), but the gold and silver that comes in, just doesn't add up. Lol. (Still like the movie though. Pretty good.)

    • Dunia DKF
      Dunia DKF 3 months ago


    • devils/advocate
      devils/advocate 3 months ago

      Maybe the golds and silver are sent back to the future once sold by the loopers. Maybe.

  • Fariz 2202GT
    Fariz 2202GT 3 months ago

    For Me
    Best Time Travel Film Is Project Almanac , You Never Can Change The Past
    If You Change It
    You Change Everything

  • Claire Redfieldクレア・レッドフィールド

    I still don't get it
    Is that bad?

  • Braden Meyer
    Braden Meyer 3 months ago

    I was expecting this video to be longer. I feel this movie didn’t get enough coverage. I enjoyed it very much.

  • Ghost
    Ghost 3 months ago

    Well that's enough.... I'm starting to ache 🤯🤕

  • Faffer
    Faffer 3 months ago +1

    One thing i understood about time travel in this film is that in the moment you've travelled in the past from the future, this action of travelling is now in the past of the present and the current you from the future gets for example the wounds of his younger behalf simultanously as they're made, even if these wounds, or actions, could've changed the past of the future guy.
    It's a little tricky and unlogic but they set this rule and they followed it, so i'm okay with that.
    But yeah i enjoyed the film even if there's lack of explanation about multiple time-lines and lack of consistency in the delevopment of the future Joe that seem's having is own memories after all, even though the past is changing.
    Another thing that make few sense is the fact that editor of the film choosed to show us in first place the scene of Joe escaping from his younger self and after the scene in wich the youger Joes closes the loop.
    It's maybe good for narrating the story but it's chronologically wrong.

  • Benno DiZoglio
    Benno DiZoglio 4 months ago +18

    There's 1 error in your evaluation: Old Joe vanished, but did he disappear because young Joe died or because the rainmaker never exists, so old Joe never goes back in time?

    • Chicken Towel
      Chicken Towel Month ago

      @Gnuling what drugs are you on? lmao!
      1. wut?
      2. wut?
      3. who the hell would think his last action is the beginning of the story? You.
      Ok I said ending but I didn't say anything like killing himself is the ending, I should made myself clearer, you make it look like I'm wrong.
      The protagonist is narrating from his early life as a kid, this is a movie, it should end.
      For the last time, it doesn't matter, this film is not about time travel but how these character-based movie deals with the situation time travel has brought about.

    • Gnuling
      Gnuling Month ago

      @Chicken Towel The ending is supposed to be about the loop with the Rainmaker ending by Joe killing himself. That is what the director/writer says himself.
      Actually though, 1. the loop could not have occurred this way in the first place 2. a loop like this could not end this way (paradox and broken causality) and 3. since Joe killed himself and future Joe can't have existed anymore, your statement is incorrect because the story can't occur anymore. Since the story can't occur anymore, this is *not* the beginning of the story.

    • Chicken Towel
      Chicken Towel Month ago

      @Gnuling it doesn't matter. Just look at the ending. It's the beginning of the story but they put it in the end of the movie and then you get the whole picture.
      Google Causal Loop.

    • Gnuling
      Gnuling Month ago

      @Chicken Towel It does matter which timeline was first because one timeline was first and without it there can't be any other development. The one where Bruce Willis gets away cannot be the first timeline. Since Bruce Willis managed to close his loop and then traveled back, his own timeline has to be the first. But if there are two timelines he couldn't possibly be affected by the young Joe's actions.
      The story builds upon a semi-fluid single timeline that can change at both ends but then slowly creates continuity. That doesn't work properly, though.

    SMERSH 4 months ago

    Terminator,Interstellar,looper and other sci fi time films suffer with time paradoxes. If you can not let it bother you too much,they are all great films

    • SMERSH
      SMERSH 3 months ago

      @Gnuling I hear you

    • Gnuling
      Gnuling 3 months ago

      The other films I've watched had more easily acceptable time paradoxes. Looper unfortunately is a gimmicky action movie and not the time-travel-action movie that I was expecting.

  • Carbon-Dim
    Carbon-Dim 4 months ago

    I've had to struggle with that question for years,how loose can any story be in its consistency before it hinders the enjoyment and investment from your audience(?)
    Your answer in this video is great! Thank you

  • Muhammad Siam .M
    Muhammad Siam .M 4 months ago

    Cid is not Joe, because Joe fucked Sara in the pussy

  • bmaka7
    bmaka7 4 months ago

    my brain hurts

  • James Hubbard
    James Hubbard 4 months ago

    I couldn't get past the contradictions and I did not enjoy this movie. I don't think a good movie is one that keeps people watching even if there are contradictions. If you can spot contradictions in the movie's own plot, that is a problem. The point of a movie is to immerse yourself in the world and believe it is possible. As others have also said time and time again, Time Travel Never Works. So stop making movies about them.

  • Ethan Lion7
    Ethan Lion7 4 months ago

    You know, the really interesting thing about the end of this movie, is that it wasn't really about "self-lessness" at all, but about _self-sacrifice_ : yes, there's a difference.
    *Take this quote from the end scene:*
    "And then I saw it...I saw a mom who would die for her son... a man who would kill for his wife... a boy, angry and alone, laid out in front of him, the bad path. I saw it -- and the path was a circle, round and round.
    So I changed it." (Looper)
    Each of the characters in this quote -- the mom, the son, future and present assassins -- all acted in some form of self-interest. Some acted morally (the mom), some immorally (the future assassin), but all had reasonable, humane, honorable _desires_. The mom just wanted to save her son's life, and even the assassin just wanted to save his wife: and yet, in the name of saving a life, he was willing to take two, four, and more if he had the chance.
    So many people these days see characters (and real people -- politicians, especially) by their intentions, desires, and heart: whether it be Thanos and Killmonger, or a seemingly "well-meaning and charismatic" politician, judging people's actions by their intentions has become a common habit. And yet, this scene alone clearly shows the problem with that thinking. Future Joe was a murderer, and was willing to kill children in order to achieve his goals... and he did. Is it really worth condoning child murder, for the sake of "good intentions"? Clearly intentions matter -- after all, a majority of the other characters in the movie have terrible hearts, terrible desires, and did terrible things. So good intentions are still good... they just don't perfectly correlate with good or just action.
    It is possible, and in fact, essential, to distinguish between desires and methods -- to respect and encourage an honorable desire, while simultaneously shaming and rebuking dishonorable methods. Not all guilt has to be heaped on with high-volume voices and harsh words, and not all guilt is wrongly felt, or negatively impactful.
    Now, more to the point, look to the self-sacrifice of present Joe. Ironically, he wasn't acting completely selflessly -- after all, that's technically impossible. You can't really act "outside yourself" ... you only have control over you. He clearly loved the woman and the child, desired their survival, and by killing himself, he not only eliminates any threat to them, but eliminates the threat his future self is dealing with. So he is still technically attending to his own interests... just not his self. His intentions and interests are the same, but his methods are different -- he achieves his goal, not through child murder, abuse, or coercion, but through total and complete self-sacrifice. When it came to methods, and achieving his goals in practice, other people's lives (the woman and child) were off-limits, but his own was not.
    Now, of course, self-sacrifice isn't inherently a moral thing. As Von Mises said, "Sacrifice is moral only when it meets a moral end." But when it comes down to it, it is _always_ better, morally superior, to sacrifice something of yourself, than something that is not yours, that you have no right to. That's the beauty of this last scene: it shows that to change the "loops" in the world, the cycles of hatred and pain the are passed on from person to person, you have to change the methods. Everyone else will pass it on, but are you willing to sacrifice something, something of yourself, in order to end it?
    Don't stop at good intentions. Take your morality all the way -- focus on finding the right methods, and change the loops.
    [And P.S. -- also note the application of this to politics. Socialism is _not_ the right method, and certainly not a form of self-sacrifice. Forcing someone to give up what is theirs, even in the name of a (supposedly) just goal, is still wrong.]

  • Mintyy
    Mintyy 4 months ago


  • CheesecakeLasagna
    CheesecakeLasagna 4 months ago +2

    This why Dragon Ball Z is smart to choose the multiverse type of time travel theory.
    Much less headache to endure, you can easily focus on the story, characters, and action scenes.

    • Gnuling
      Gnuling 3 months ago +1

      The one timeline can be great too even if it is not completely logical. It just has to keep the plot holes to a minimum. Looper unfortunately didn:t.

  • Ethan Lion7
    Ethan Lion7 4 months ago

    Too true! That's what people miss so much about movie "plot holes" -- it's not really about reality as much as the audience's _perception_ of that reality. Communicating every little detail perfectly in a movie is really tough, so while nitpicking is fun, finding supposed "plot holes" aren't necessarily a sign of a bad movie.
    More importantly, though, claiming any sort of logical consistency over time travel is absurd. The whole idea is made up of thinking around different perspectives/realities (i.e. timelines) of what would/might happen, using technology that does not and likely never will exist. Often people make absolute claims about what "would" or wouldn't happen, viewing one of these "realities" from the perspective and rules of another.... in other words, they're comparing apples and oranges. because and even the rules created within stories are often designed to be broken. So when it comes to time travel movies, they're not necessarily bad just because someone _thinks_ there is a inconsistency.... since the whole IDEA is to go outside of consistency itself.

    NOW what's a prime example of both these things? The recent AVENGERS: End Game.

    Sooooooo many people booed on about how the time travel in the movie "didn't make sense" and that it had many plot holes. Yet most of said "plot holes" actually have reasonable explanations if you look closely, or have more common explanations, like human nature or the difficulties of movies as a medium. And while I agree that many parts were hard to follow, the fundamental story wasn't: they made the basic "rules" very clear (...essentially that there are none when it comes to time travel XD) and the character's emotions and progression even more so. Not to mention, the super-packed nature of the movie is what makes so perfect for watching over, and over, and over again, so you can catch every little detail: The story wrapped loose ends from 20 others while crafting a beautiful ending of its own. Not to mention, it's pretty smart that they through out the traditional sci-fi time-traveling rules, because this way allowed them to stay away from overused plots and craft a much more beautiful, unique one of their own.

    • Jesus Staccato
      Jesus Staccato 4 months ago +1

      If your film is so dumb that it can only appeal to people stupid enough to not notice gigantic plot holes, then your film is shit.

  • Karen Denby
    Karen Denby 5 months ago +1

    I love this movie despite all it's flaws.

  • Dockboy90
    Dockboy90 5 months ago

    This video is brilliant! I've been trying for a while to put my finger on why l still enjoy this story so much, despite the movie's convoluted time travel element

  • Elmar live
    Elmar live 5 months ago +5

    If the conclusion of a story doesnt make sense, its not a good conclusion.
    But then its Rian Johnson: Great director, terrible writer.

    • Jesus Staccato
      Jesus Staccato 4 months ago +2

      Or, alternatively, just "shit filmmaker". Brick was like some bizarre accident where he stumbled into a truly great movie; everything else has been mediocre at best and unbearable at worst.

    • Elmar live
      Elmar live 4 months ago +2


    • CheesecakeLasagna
      CheesecakeLasagna 4 months ago +1

      Can you suggest me some of his works that is good because he didn't write it?

  • Tom Norton
    Tom Norton 5 months ago

    Rian Johnson wrote and directed this movie and that idiot doesn't know anything about storytelling. Just look at how he fucked up Star Wars. Of course Looper doesn't make sense.

    IRA-BIM 5 months ago +1

    the movie actually makes sense. In every programming software when it encountered an infinite loop the software itself gives an error or it shuts down entirely. the old joe is the real timeline which forever in a loop until that last iteration (young joe in the movie), somehow different from his other self stops the loop.
    the only loophole I find is the rainmaker. how did he became the rainmaker? is it after the old joe failed to kill kid joe and he transform? rainmaker exist already in old joe's timeline unless he did go back to his timeline. the plausible scenario would be the rainmaker is just a myth or a different person.

    • Jesus Staccato
      Jesus Staccato 4 months ago

      Your explanation for how the film "actually makes sense" relies on the word "somehow", which means it doesn't make sense.

  • Giancarlo Andre Bravo Abanto

    l wanted old Joe to kill the kid and live his life again

  • AcId_ TrIpZz
    AcId_ TrIpZz 5 months ago +3

    The moment time travel is added you just gotta give up on keeping track

    • Gnuling
      Gnuling 3 months ago

      Or the writer makes up consistent rules.

  • Jeremy Barker
    Jeremy Barker 5 months ago +1

    I always thought that he was all 3 people and he killed himself so that the mother could go on to change the overall destiny of himself while ending 2 timelines to save his first one

  • Sony
    Sony 6 months ago

    less time travel, more dimension travel. he goes into the "time machine" and comes out in the past, which is actually a different dimension. In that dimension young joe was able to stop old joe

    but in old joes dimension, when he would have been young, he didnt stop the old joe that came to his dimension, but just lived his life and eventually became a victim.

    so its a story where, "forever the cycle has been renewed, until special guy stops it" still a great movie though

    • Gnuling
      Gnuling 3 months ago +1

      I think your analysis falls flat. How do you define dimension?
      He clearly is the same Joe from the future. Everything injury he has in this timeline, the old one gets.
      "He didn't stop the old joe that came to his dimension" That's false. He killed him within seconds. That clearly counts as stopping him.

  • The L
    The L 6 months ago


  • Adina McCray
    Adina McCray 6 months ago +2

    I remember being so confused with this movie....and I am still confused

  • Jalal mk
    Jalal mk 7 months ago

    Great analysis. But I think you're missing a point. This movie breaks its own rules because the main purpose of the movie is not about a complicated plot or a strange story. It breaks its own rule because that is the only way to show the meaning of this movie. Its called looper because its trying to show that revenge is like a never ending loop. Or as joe said himself "Then I saw it. A mom that would die for her son. A man that would kill for his wife.... That path was a circle. So I changed it.
    " So it doesn't really matter if the plot or the details of the time travel doesn't really make sense as long as the meaning is delivered at the end.

  • Christopher Barber
    Christopher Barber 7 months ago

    Bro you’re in the diner for hours makin dioramas out of straws and shit!

  • Geralt of Trivia
    Geralt of Trivia 7 months ago +8

    The reason why the rainmaker existed in old Joe's original timeline (and what he said about his memories being different-I think he meant that it's different after every change in the present that he's in now, since that will affect him in some way eventually and changes his memory by the second) is because his original backstory was Sara's sister dying and him receiving the broken jaw in a different way (or not receiving it at all), thus becoming the rainmaker in the original timeline.

    • Gnuling
      Gnuling 3 months ago

      I've thought about the sister dying too. Then nothing that Joe did would stop him from becoming the Rainmaker, though.
      The other possibility is that in the original timeline Sara was killed by someone else. Then nothing that Joe did would stop him from becoming the Rainmaker, either.

  • SugarDaddy1963
    SugarDaddy1963 7 months ago

    this movie sucked hard

  • Andrew Nichols
    Andrew Nichols 7 months ago

    I adore this movie, I really do, even with the holes. I believe the writers said they didn't follow the scientific model for time travel (obviously) not that there is one, other than speeding up. But you're right time travel in this movie is not even close to the main point. It's a self sacrifice story.

  • ekimus99
    ekimus99 8 months ago +1

    I was just about to rewatch Looper, when I clicked on this... kinda summed it all up in a couple minutes vs. 2hrs.

  • UF KAK
    UF KAK 8 months ago

    Predestination is better than this..

  • Si Hopebgood
    Si Hopebgood 9 months ago +1

    I love time travel movies. They never really make sense but who cares? They're FUN! Worrying about it doesn't keep me awake at night because someone in the future (or past) will figure it all out! ;)

  • Zorack
    Zorack 9 months ago

    Time travel is ultimately fantasy and not science, one can only travel into the future theoretically not into the past, so everything isn't scientific rules set in stone it's all a fantasy setting/device. It's more about the feeling of the movie audio-visually than it's time travel mechanics making 100% sense - they never really will.

    • Gnuling
      Gnuling 3 months ago

      True, but every fantasy story has to stay true to its rules too.

  • Aian Xaharia
    Aian Xaharia 10 months ago +1

    The movie is actually Overrated

  • DTinaglia Studios
    DTinaglia Studios 10 months ago +2

    Opens a video about a Rian Johnson movie with a Star Wars clip :0

  • Sofiqul Islam
    Sofiqul Islam 10 months ago

    It was fantastic to watch, n your explanation at the last seems legit. Thank you

  • jose ignacio paulsen
    jose ignacio paulsen 10 months ago

    It didn't breaks any rules because time corrects itself, no one says that joe is the "original" creator of the rainmaker but as he tries to change an important event in the history of the story time corrects itself to make old joe the creator of the rainmaker. Even now after the movie we don't now if the rainmaker will be "created" because maybe joe just gave syd and his mother a chance to make things right, maybe the rainmaker as the ruler of the future can't be killed. Also old joe killed all the loopers in the present and didn't dissapear so that means the ones that killed old joe's wife and tried to send him to the past weren't future loopers but rainmaker pawns. There arent any holes in the plot, its just to deep and it was pretty hard to understand.