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Looper - discussion [CONTAINS SPOILERS] - Don't come here until you have seen it.
  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    Great film. Much to think about. Before I start reconcilling the TK side of things, I'm thinking about the time travel stuff.

    Reconciling Looper’s time travel:

    Looper – works in the 2040s to kill people sent back from the future.

    Closing the loop – killing your future self.

    Running loop – when you future self gets away.

    Whatever happens to the 2040s looper, effects a future self in a running loop as evidenced by Seth.

    Abe - gangster from the future sent back to control 2040s loopers.

    The Rain Maker - gangster from the future who starts closing loops early.

    Joe - protagonist of the film. Young Joe from the 2040s. Old Joe from the 2070s.

    First Joe closes his loop. This leads Joe to be hopeless and go to China as Abe suggested, rather than Paris as he wanted. In China old Joe is 'saved' by a woman who loves him before his loop closure. The Rain Maker's men kill this woman, which provokes old Joe to keep his loop open and try to kill the Rain Maker as a child and prevent his love from being killed.

    Young Joe doesn’t want an open loop so tries to kill old Joe. Old Joe gets away, having the hindsight of being in a running loop, and kills one of the three potential children that is the Rain Maker. Young Joe learns which child is the Rain Maker. Old Joe does not kill his second potential victim, realising it isn’t the Rain Maker? Or, very coincidentally, because the mother is a woman that young Joe had feelings for.

    Old Joe is captured by Abe’s men and gets free, taking all their money. Old Joe goes to kill Cid (child version of the Rain Maker that young Joe is with). To stop old Joe, young Joe kills himself. This is because young Joe realises that old Joe will not kill Cid but Cid’s mother (is she really, or is it Suzie?) which will make Cid angry and turn him into the Rain Maker.

    So a time travel plot turns into a story about self sacrifice to save a kid with special powers. After the self sacrifice, Cid’s mother gets Abe’s money, begging the question is Cid (an inventive kid) going to become the inventor of time travel?

    But, there is a massive time paradox outside the self sacrifice plot. Joe only developed a running loop because the Rain Maker killed his love. The Rain Maker only became mean because Joe killed his mother, which could only happen if Joe had a running loop. Old Joe only killed the Rain Maker's mother because the Rain Maker killed his lover. To top it all off, Joe would not have met his lover if he didn’t kill himself, or initially close his own loop. Closing his loop made it run.

    This is enough for now, for anyone who has seen it and wants to comment. I am going to see it again and pay more attention to Sara, Suzie, Cid, scars and the way Sara and Suzie touch people. I can't shake the feeling there is more going on then just a time travel setup turns into a save the mutant with self sacrifice film - there are deeper threads connecting it all but I haven't worked them all out yet.

    Suck fuddlety!
  • JonesycatpantsJonesycatpants  (2 like this)
    Catpower
    This time travel shit will fry your brain.....

    Ultimately the story's main thread is about parenting, young gat man and abe, young joe and abe's relationship, joe and his mother, CID an his mother, ultimately joe and the rainmaker, I loved the ending i really connected to Joe deciding to close "the loop" of being a shitty selfish person effectively breaking the cycle of shittyness, an giving the rainmaker a chance at being a more secure adult, really nice message to put out there.
    Jonesy you little shit..you're staying right here
  • LooperLikerLooperLiker  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    Old joe realizes the second kid isn't the rain maker the second young joe does. Remember he explained that in the diner? That old joe is cloudy till young joe has a set memory? That's why they both kind of said it at the same time. Amazing movie. The kids powers were as refreshing as old joe slaughtering Abe's whole crew. The revelation that the kid killed the sister was a complete slap in the face. Great movie. Can't wait to see it again, on a bigger screen.
  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    This time travel shit will fry your brain.....

    Ultimately the story's main thread is about parenting, young gat man and abe, young joe and abe relationship, joe and his mother, CID an his mother, ultimately joe and the rainmaker, I loved the ending i really connected to Joe deciding to close "the loop" of being a shitty selfish person effectively breaking the cycle of shittyness, an giving the rainmaker a chance at being a more secure adult, really nice message to put out there.




    Jonsey,

    I think some of it was about parenting but it was more general, overall.

    When young Joe was with Cid in that escape tunnel he said something like 'all every man can do is try and save the things that matter to him'

    I feel it was more about that, than pure parenting. Wether Abe and the kid were father and son, or older and younger versions of the same person, didn't really matter because the kid never really mattered to Abe but Abe mattered to the kid - so niether character ever got a true sense of self worth.

    I do agree the message at the end was that young Joe was trying to create hope for the future with self sacrifice but the encircling time travel plot means that he wouldn't have been in the position to do so without the shitty things that set it up.

    Suck fuddlety!
  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    Old joe realizes the second kid isn't the rain maker the second young joe does. Remember he explained that in the diner? That old joe is cloudy till young joe has a set memory? That's why they both kind of said it at the same time. Amazing movie. The kids powers were as refreshing as old joe slaughtering Abe's whole crew. The revelation that the kid killed the sister was a complete slap in the face. Great movie. Can't wait to see it again, on a bigger screen.




    Agree - in the rules set up by the film, any older character in a running loop experienced what a younger character did. Old Joe used this advantage of new hindsight often.

    Re the kid killing the sister, I am still not sure. I need to see it again to confirm. The kid thought he saw his mother killed and Sara said that she was his mother and he killed his sister.

    There are posters raising on IMDB that Sara stroked Cids hair the way Joe remembers his mum stroking his and that Suzie did something similar. They are also raising that Joe may have gotten a similar scar to what Cid did. I can't see Joe being the same person as Cid though, because Joe wasn't TK.

    Still, there is at least a suggestion in the film that the characters are more interconnected than just old Joe's hit list. When I first saw Sara, I thought it was Suzie. Now I wonder if Suzie and Sara are sisters. Why introduce Suzie's parenting plot without some form of payoff or relationship to the plot?

    Suck fuddlety!
  • LooperLikerLooperLiker  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    Kid killing sister was very clearly explained when Sara explains that Sid was playing on a bookcase and it fell on top of him.
    2 favorite parts, guy in the air, slow mo, exploding...
    And when Sara says that Sid can be good if she nurtures him, he can grow up good...
    Joe: he doesn't.
    I started clapping!
    Loved this movie.
  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    Kid killing sister was very clearly explained when Sara explains that Sid was playing on a bookcase and it fell on top of him.




    Which contrasted to how Sid explained it? I need to watch that bit again carefully.

    I enjoyed the slow mo explosion.

    But my 2 favourite parts were the 30 year montage and the mutilation of old Seth, after the first viewing.

    Suck fuddlety!
  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    @ LL - I just read another theory that suggested young Joe started changing Cid before his self sacrifice. Given that your understanding is correct, Cid was upset that he killed who he thought was his mother. This set him down the path of being the Rain Maker. Young Joe creates a relationship with Cid and causes Cid to having a real relationship with his actual mother Sara. This takes him off the path of being the Rain Maker. Of course, if old Joe killed Sara, he might still regress into becoming the Rain Maker but young Joe averts this.

    All of it still exists inside the running Joe loop though - a loop which was only created because Cid became the Rain Maker.

    The montage sequence shows, IMO, that a closed loop can be changed. The film sets up Terminator 1 style time travel rules - a consistent loop with chicken and egg questions and then changes to T2 style rules - the future is not set. But it also creates a universe where each future effects each past, as much as each past effects each future.

    Suck fuddlety!
  • DrewskiTwoskiDrewskiTwoski  (2 like this)
    Colonist

    This time travel shit will fry your brain.....

    Ultimately the story's main thread is about parenting, young gat man and abe, young joe and abe's relationship, joe and his mother, CID an his mother, ultimately joe and the rainmaker, I loved the ending i really connected to Joe deciding to close "the loop" of being a shitty selfish person effectively breaking the cycle of shittyness, an giving the rainmaker a chance at being a more secure adult, really nice message to put out there.



    I agree with the parenting theme.  The time travel overall was well done, given a few leaps of faith, and has been described well above so my comment focuses on the theme and character motivations

    I think there is one more aspect to the parenting theme of the movie but I need someone to confirm it.

    There is a flashback scene that I think gives away the true motivation of Old Joe and ties the theme of the movie together.

    Old Joe remembers waking yesterday with his wife and they look at each other and smile. I think that just before they look at each other and smile they hear the cry of a baby. ****Can anyone confirm the baby crying in this scene?****

    Here is my take on the significance of the baby’s cry in this scene.

    If they do here a baby, it is their baby in the next room, and Old Joe’s wife did get to be a mother as she had always wanted. And, more importantly, Old Joe did not decide to go back in time to kill the Rainmaker for his wife – he did it so his child could have a mother. Old Joe has deeply missed his mother his whole life as shown by the seen with the hooker stroking Joe’s hair. He is now determined to save his child from a motherless life.

    Furthermore this ties into Young Joe’s decision at the end of the movie to kill himself so that Cid may have a chance to grow up with his mother. Both Joe’s know the value of a mother because they grew up without one.

    At the end of the movie Cid’s mother has the knowledge of his evil potential, a truck load of gold, and her determination to teach him to harness his power for good. With these tools perhaps she can mold him into the man that can save humanity. This realization is what leads Young Joe to sacrifice himself – the potential to save humanity from it’s current destructive path.

    In the diner Old Joe accuses Young Joe of being selfish and small minded, Yet it is Old Joe who is selfishly motivated to save his wife and thus his child. His thinking is small minded in that killing Cid is the only way to achieve this goal. It is Young Joe who sees the big picture and sacrifices himself for the chance that Cid may live on and save humanity.

    If anyone can confirm that a baby cries in Old Joe’s flashback it will save me a trip back to the theater and confirm that this is a 5 star film.

    It will also nicely tie up the theme of the movie as: “Mothers are priceless” or “All good comes from a mother’s touch” or “Ensuring a child’s right to be loved by their mother is paramount”

    If I imagined the baby cry I think it is just a 3 1/2 star film for cool action and a neat time travel idea.

  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    A baby definately cried - I heard it to but was confused by what it meant because old Joe said they couldn't have kids.

    I like your take on its meaning Drew. But am confused as to wether you think old Joe had the child in the timeline in which his love was killed and he started a running loop? If he did - it makes his motivation for wanting to kill the Rain Maker very strong.

    Suck fuddlety!
  • LooperLikerLooperLiker  (2 like this)
    Colonist
    There absolutely was a baby crying in another room in that scene.
    Originally, old joe says she always wanted to be a mother, she would have been a good mother, alluding to they were unable to have children. The fact that in a later scene you hear a baby cry shows the loop is open and can change as they go along. Each current action tweaks the running loop.
    Young joe absolutely knows the effect of what not having a mothers love does to the destructive nature of a child, he knows what he himself had become. He developed a love for Sid, and saw with that love he could change the rain maker from a killer to something more. Brilliant concepts all around. Amazing story.
    I agree, the montage was excellent, and totally refreshing. As well as the concept of Seth falling apart as young Seth it mutilated. But there is something so chilling in hearing joe say, he doesn't, grow up to be good.
    I almost wish there was another running story about what would happen if the rain maker had come to fruition. The story of how he came to power, single handedly, is probably as good, if not better than the looper story. Seeing it again with friends, then a third time with s/o, then anxiously awaiting bluray release.
    Ppl are comparing this to inception. There is no comparison. The only thing they have in common is Joseph Gordon levitt. Don't think for a minute that these movies have anything in common.
    Best movie of the year so far. Better than batman, Prometheus, you name it, this beats them all.
  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    LL - your take on the baby crying is also brillaint. And yes, this film shits all over Inception, Prometheus and Batman. It has deep characters, a deep world and deep concepts - and I am sure the time travel has a logic to it. these are the guys who made Primer, aren't they?

    What is really amazing is to combine your take on the crying baby, Drews take on the crying baby and my take on the time travel. The future is not set and the past and future are effecting each other. Wether old Joe came back knowing he had a child, or if it only happened after young Joe got off the drugs sooner (meaning he is still fertile in the future or something) it makes old Joe's motivation to kill the Rain Maker very powerful. Awsome stuff.

    I think the story has to be looked at as a story within a time travel story, where the time travel sets up character motivations and 'powers' to a certain extent. Part of their powers are that their motivations can change, because of the time travel. Because young and old Joe share the original strong motivation re not having a mother, this leads young Joe to unwittingly jeapordise the future of his own (potential) child, by protecting Sara's.

    Excellent flick - you guys have helped me realise it is a 10/10.

    Suck fuddlety!
  • LooperLikerLooperLiker  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    Dont get me wrong, I thought inception was brilliant in its own right, but much longer, too many levels, it gave me a headache by hour 2. Looper has everything a 10/10 movie needs. Depth of characters, brilliant casting, über violence, psychic powers, exploding ppl, time travel, deep love stories piper paribos perfect a cups out in the open...it had everything I was looking for all summer long and didn't expect to find here. Inception, excellent, looper, brilliant.
    In hindsight, I'm thinking about the baby, notice how the baby crying comes in only after old joe tells young joe about her being an excellent mother? So that planted a seed in young joes mind unknowingly. And a few scenes later, young joe had subconsciously changed the future to have a baby in it. And old joes memories changed at that point to knowing he was a father and hearing a baby cry. Freaking brilliant!
    The one thing I was waiting for that did not happen, was the disappearance of the wife's picture in the watch. The new love that young joe felt for Sara should have knocked out the love old joe found as an older joe...but I guess that love never truly developed enough for the young love to supersede b/c of the suicide?
    There are so many twists and turns and possible outcomes that they could make this movie over 40x and still not have it all figured out.
    Still wish I could know more about the rain maker. I googled it and that string of numbers comes up with a website, but it's a dead end. Damn it!
    Go see it...many times.
  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    I don't think the wifes picture dissapeared because:

    1) She was still a person in the future, regardless if Joe met her or not.

    2) Up until the point that young Joe died and old Joe dissapeared, the loop was still running.

    Did we see the watch after old Joe vanished? I can't remember.

    A running loop creates a paradox - old Joe being the embodiment of it. The montage after young Joe closed his loop was only ever from that Joe's POV, resulting in old Joe. No-one but old Joe would know that he had a child with his wife - his wife couldn't know as they hadn't met yet and the child wasn't born.

    Closing the loop opened it and that loop wrapped around the whole story, giving young Joe the motivation to save Cid and power to kill old Joe by suicide. But the paradoxical nature of the running loop pushed the motivations of old and young Joe apart.

    That is also why young Seth was maimed but not killed. Only old Seth was killed to close the loop.

    Loops are dangerous - they can change the future:) Young Joe just tried to make a good change before he stopped his loop ever being able to run again. Wether he did or not depends on the viewer, or a sequel:)

    Also makes me realise that, as Abe went back in time, from lets say 2069 (just before the Rain Maker popped up in 2070) then he changed the future of every looper he recruited - which is why they all had to be closed. The Rain Maker could only start fast closing loops after Abe went back, because before he went back, in the Rain Maker's future, loopers had not been invented and the Rain Maker's mother had not been killed. Abe making loopers made the Rain Maker.

    Suck fuddlety!
  • I figured the rain maker had an idea that a looper was involved in his mothers death but didn't remember which one so when he was older and in power he systematically started killing them off till there were none left, by essence killing his mothers killer.
  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    Yea, he was hoping to close the loops before the official date and by doing so stop the runing loop that created his mothers death. Little did he know, he actually made that loop.

    A lot of cause an effect in the loops.

    Suck fuddlety!
  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    Just spoke to a mate who saw it tonight who advised that he liked it and the ending but thought it had a flaw:

    If young Joe killed himself and old Joe dissapeared, then old Joe would never have been able to come back and give young Joe the motivation to kill himself. Joe's running loop creates an unresolvable paradox.

    That said, perhaps that was the event that created the Rain Maker - perhaps saving Sara and her getting the money is exactly what is needed to make the Rain Maker exist. A 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions' ending is disguise.

    Suck fuddlety!
  • ender133ender133  
    Colonist
    My interpretation of the movie was actually 1. Joe didn't need to kill himself and 2. It doesn't really matter what Joe does anyway.  To address #2 first, the first time through the loop (from the perspective of young joe when young joe kills old joe successfully) the Rain Maker still comes to exist and kills his Chinese wife.  To me this means that even before Joe had gone back to kill Cid's mom, events had already transpired to create the Rain Maker without old joe's intervention.  Subsequent changes in Old Joe's memory about Rain Man are alterable and probably change as his (old joe's) murder of Cid's mom alters the foggy details in his memory such as the artificial jaw.  I believe I read a thing online where the director addresses the artificial jaw specifically.  
      To get back and address #1, it makes theatrical sense for joe to kill himself, but from purely a looping logic perspective, its unnecessary.  The simple fact that young joe recognizes that old joe is the creator of the rain man should be enough to stop this young joe from going back to kill cid's mom in the next loop.  However, if young Joe realizes that when he grows old and becomes old joe that he will never change, then thats one reason to kill himself.  Of course, if my interpretation #2 is correct, it really doesn't matter what he does, the Rain Maker will come to exist and kill his wife anyway.  
      Anyway, thats just my two cents, Time travel fiction always leads to multiple possibly correct interpretations because of the nature of time travel.  Most likely that is intended by the director but is part of what makes them so much fun.  Will definitely go back and hunt for pieces of old joe's flash forward memories that are evolving as his past unfolds.  And if you all want a real time travel piece of fiction that will make your head spin, read the manga Stein's Gate.
  • ender133ender133  
    Colonist
    Oh and I wish they'd done more with Abe...such a waste of a potentially really juicy character.  I imagine when the film was first conceived, he had more of a role.  So much you could do with Abe being the father of Cid or being one of the other loopers working with young Joe,etc.  And they could have done so much more with the other children or their parents being altered by Old Joe's actions...  I sense sequels (presequels?)... both our current present (not young joe's present) and these other characters provide so much creative space.
  • SOMETHING DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!


    - In Old Joe's timeline, he never fucked with the Rain Maker and yet the Rain Maker still existed (which, at the end of the movie was the reason why the Rain Maker became the Rain Maker to begin with or so we are lead to believe...). Under the presumption that Cid still got "a mother's love" in this timeline, this is also saying that regardless of whether or not his mother was killed, he would have became the Rain Maker anyways!! So by not taking out the kid, Joe doomed the world to an even bigger and worse time loop!!!!!

    Am I missing something here?? I cant see anything wrong with this logic.
  •  I saw this and it is much better then you realize so let me say that;

    it starts our making you think it is about,;; if you could have the chance to kill the worst evil ie. rainmaker, when he was a 6 years old baby, would you do it? And Old Joe wants to do it, andyou think that this is a good thing,,,, until the moment he has the chance, and then,

    young Joe says 'i saw the mother who would die to save her child, and the man who would kill to save his wife, and I thought I could change it (Cid getting killed) I knew I could change it, and he turns the gun on himself and kills himself, saving GOD and making himself perfect ! Only GOD could show him that miracle of a mother to save her son and a man to kill to save his wife... And anyway, of course Cid was really GOD, look at the miraculous power HE had !! And God gave Joe the chance to see the miracle and the chance to make himself perfect by killing himself to save GOD !!

     

  • CaptainJTKirkCaptainJTKirk  (1 like this)
    Colonist

    So, the big realization is that rainmaker is really GOD and all of the evil of the loopers is the evil that GOD is eliminating by showing Joe the miracle of a mother who would die to save her son. So Joe has the chance to kill himself to save GOD. What could be more perfect then THAT !! So it is about the question,

    Should a mother let herself be killed to save her son !?

    Should a man kill to save his wife and child !?

    Is a man made perfect if he kills himslef to save GOD !!

     

  • VisionistVisionist  (2 like this)
    Panton_Vel_Nusquam
    Perhaps my biggest gripe is the diner scene: Two delicious servings of Rare Steak, Scrambled Eggs and Crispy Fries: WASTED!

    I was crying on the inside.
    I'm the man who gets to fly around in a helicopter with a gun.
    You call me MUFWIG.
    Mother Fucker What's In Charge.
  • LooperLikerLooperLiker  (1 like this)
    Colonist
    Something I thought was excellent was old joes struggle with executing the kid. Knowing he had a child of his own waiting, I thought that was a great twist.
  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    Yes, old Joes struggle with killing the kids was excellent. After killing the first one, he was visibly upset that it didn't change his memory of the future and he knew he had to kill at least one more child. Then, when he realised the second child belonged to a woman he used to care for as young Joe, he was even more upset - couldn't bring himself to do it. By the time he steeled himself to do it - Kid Blue had already positioned himself to capture him. Ultimately, he was relieved that he didn't have to kill that child, even if he was captured.

    Am pretty certain now that the cause of events in the running loop that are the second hour of the film are actually what makes the Rain Maker though. It is a real bitter sweet ending, when you think about it.

    Suck fuddlety!
  • ummesterummester  
    AssFlower

    Just thought of this:

    By pure logic, if either Joe is reacting to the future that existed, that future must exist for him to react to it.

    Was just thinking that perhaps the main emotional drive for Cid to become bitter and the Rain Maker was seeing Joe kill himself.

    Joe tells Cid, 'All everyman can do is try to save the things that matter.'

    Perhaps young Joe mattered so much to Cid that seeing his suicide tips Cid over the edge. Perhaps the film was deliberately crafted so that the viewer can take hope or inevitability away from the ending.

    Suck fuddlety!

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