Is it me or is it that in the Looper film the plot wasn't actually going to loop?

What I mean: In Bruce Willis's prime line he had no idea who the Rainmaker was. But In Levitt's timeline even if he would grow up and get to know his wife to be. He would know who the rainman is.

So suppose that Levitt grows to be Bruce Willis, then he sees his wife die, and gets ready to be sent back so that his younger self would close the loop. He escapes then there is no need for searching for the Rainmaker he only needs to go directly to the child.

So this isn't a infinite loop. It would break for the next young Bruce Willis. Am I right?

  • I wouldn't say old Joe had "no idea" he had narrowed it down to three people. Dec 19, 2015 at 0:18

2 Answers 2


I think you're mistaken in your premise (although all time travel films are inherently paradoxical). From the wikipedia article:

Young Joe realizes that Sara's death at Old Joe's hands will lead to Cid becoming the Rainmaker, thus creating a closed time loop. He decides to kill himself to erase Old Joe from existence, save Sara and prevent the Rainmaker from rising.

Young Joe, who becomes Old Joe (Bruce Willis), never knows who the rainmaker is until he hunts him down. Young Joe (Joseph-Gordon Levitt) kills himself before he gets old so he never becomes Old Joe to travel back another time.

The 'closed time loop' above refers to what would have happened if Young Joe hadn't killed himself.

  • But the first time round, Young Joe killed Old Joe and moved to China. The rainmaker therefore didn't see Old Joe kill his Mum as Old Joe was dead. Old Joe then gets sent back in time but isn't killed the second time around. I think the plot works better if you don't think about it too much :)
    – Nick
    Jan 21, 2013 at 14:43
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    The first time round somebody else kills the Rainmaker's mother, it wasn't Old Joe. If Old Joe had killed the Rainmaker's mother then it would have become a closed loop: Old Joe kills the Rainmaker's mother, the Rainmaker kills Old Joe's wife, Old Joe goes back in time - rearrange the three statements ad infinitum
    – user11295
    Jan 21, 2013 at 15:50
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    What's stopping that someone else from killing the Rainmaker's mother again, after the events of the film?
    – Nick
    Jan 21, 2013 at 16:00
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    It's entirely possible Cid will become the Rainmaker regardless of anything Joe does. That would be a terrifying plot twist! :) I suscribe to the time-travel theory which states the future cannot be changed in any way; anything we do to change it actually fulfills it (as in 12 Monkeys).
    – Andres F.
    Jan 21, 2013 at 16:06
  • Ok actually i think i'm covered thank you all for participating.Really interesting conversation, I think
    – libathos
    Jan 23, 2013 at 8:33

The movie I just watched has three appearances of Old Joe in the 2040 period. The first appearance (loop) he has no bag on his head and he escapes from Young Joe. The next appearance (which occurs straight after a black out shot when Young Joe first falls from the building onto the car) is when he does have a bag on his head and Young Joe shots him and recovers the gold. The third appearance/loop Old Joe comes back, once again without a bag, and he escapes for a second time. The way I understood this was this: Because in his first loop Old Joe escapes Young Joe and takes off with his money, Young Joe would never have been able to go to China, meet the woman and so on. So I believe the characters must have lived anoher life of thirty years and then Old Joe comes back for his second appearance/loop (as noted above), gets killed by Young Joe, so that Young Joe actually has the $$ to go to China, etc. Then, the characters live a third life of thirty years and Old Joe comes back for his third appearance/loop where he escapes for the second time. This understanding, I think, goes a long way to indicating that the characters are in fact living multiple thirty year periods, but with a pre-determined intention each time, when their loop is meant to be closed.
The final scences where Young Joe kills himself is current day, and none of the characters Young or Old would have known of it because it is real time. Also, it is only in this current point in time when Young Joe identifies Cid as the Rainmaker, that Old Joe would also know the same fact, but by the end of that scene in real time the Old Joe trying to kill the Rainmaker no longer exists. Hence, Old Joe didn't know who the Rainmaker was until right towards the end.

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