Saw It For You: Looper (2012)

A service of Saw It For You isn’t just previewing movies that haven’t been released yet — or in some cases, even made yet — it’s also to save you time on entertainment available right now. So here is our review of Rian Johnson’s Looper, which opened this past weekend. WARNING: ENORMOUS SPOILERS.

Looper (2012)

Synopsis. In the future, crime lords control time travel, but there’s just one problem: everyone you send back in time turns into Bruce Willis.


  • Director Rian Johnson spent $30 million of the film’s budget on building an actual time machine. Another $750,000 was spent on hospital care for Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt after their exposure to it.
  • The first draft of the film contained over eighty different time puns, such as “isn’t it time we got out of here?” and “I must be a hungry time traveler, because I’m going back 4 seconds.” After three extensive rewrites, Johnson went with the first draft.
  • To film small numbers of Bruce Willises, lookalike extras were fitted with bald caps. For crowd scenes, makeup artists had the 500-plus lookalikes stand beneath a single flesh-colored parachute.
  • The ending was changed after test audiences responded poorly to Joseph Gordon-Levitt looking at the camera to say “ehhh, ain’t I a stinker?” followed by an iris out.
  • In order to maintain an authentic mood, Looper was shot over the course of the next 30 years.


  • In the first time travel sequence, Joseph Gordon-Levitt enters the time machine via its top hatch, but when he arrives in 2043 he emerges from an old witch’s cauldron.
  • According to the film’s logic, de-aging might have restored Bruce Willis’ missing arm, but de-aging further would not have given him a third arm, let alone an arm he “never knew was missing.”
  • Continuity. When Emily Blunt wakes Joseph Gordon-Levitt up, she is sipping chocolate milk from a cup. When she offers Gordon-Levitt a sip, she is sipping chocolate milk from Gordon-Levitt’s open mouth.
  • Incorrectly regarded as goof. Because of a product placement deal, the only thing to eat in the future is French’s Yellow Mustard. It is conceivable that the hardy mustard seed was the only plant to survive the Time War of Twenty-One-Twenty-Never.
  • Despite the multiple times Rian Johnson appears in frame shouting “edit me out in post,” he never was.
  • Knives do not “mature” into guns when buried.
  • Billy goats are not “nature’s time travelers.”
  • Plot hole. Grand theft auto would not produce enough energy to power a time machine, even if said machine did run on “crime energy.”
  • In the final scene of the movie, Bruce Willis tells Emily Blunt that he “was Hitler all along.” This is obviously dubbed in; Willis’s lips clearly mouth the name “Gandhi.”
  • Hitler was not an old bald Indian man.
  • Telling someone that they die in the future — regardless of the existence of time travel — would not cause them to dramatically fade from existence while screaming “noooo.”

Memorable Quotes

Young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). So you’re me? From the future?
Old Joe (Bruce Willis). Shut your stupid child mouth. I got something important to tell you.
Young Joe. I guess I timed that poorly.

Sara (Emily Blunt). The mob is coming after you, Joe.
Young Joe. Then I guess it’s go-time. And Joe-time. And Joe-time.

Old Joe. You’ll never catch me!
Young Joe. I don’t have to! I’m placing myself under arrest!
Old Joe. Damn! (clothes suddenly change to prison uniform)

Sara. I don’t understand. You did all this?
Old Joe. Yeah. Turns out I’m from the past. I was [Hitler] all along. That’s how I knew my young self would use passive resistance. He’s a [Nazi].
Sara. Namaste.

  • Xavier


    • Xavier

      sorry everyone, that was future me

      • krisstraub

        i forgave you last night

  • This is so awesome.

  • Holy crap. Everyone turns into Bruce Willis via time travel? Please.. where can I sign up for this?

  • "Edit me out in post!" is my new favorite phrase. Like "totes" and "cray cray"

    • May Bell

      Gurl, why you ackin' so cray cray?

  • Sol

    Plot hole: Everyone who gets sent back in time turning into Bruce Willis is not a problem.

  • Ryan

    Continuity Error: Movie defies linear time and will continue to be released well into 2044

  • Future DVD/Blu Ray/Brainoscope Mistakes:
    A collection of film outtakes is labeled "bLooper" in the menus. This is actually a typo. It should read "Fab Looper Gaffes".

  • o0o

    Incorrectly Regarded as Goofs: Old Joe's brutal (yet erotic) murder of Young Joe does not create a temporal paradox, as there is no self and all apparently existent beings are but the apparitional play of Maya; namaste.

  • Treymoney

    These are so great. You should keep doing them forever.

    • deathbychiasmus

      Oh, I believe he already has.

  • Code Red

    Shouldn't "Mistakes" be "B-Loopers"?

    • o0o

      it should be "Fab Looper Gaffes"

  • However, planting a knife under a gunpowder tea bush WILL cause the tea bush to grow Beretta 9mm pistols instead of tea leaves.

  • FanMan

    Fab Looper Gaffe: At one point, during the main car chase scene when Old Joe attempts to run Young Joe off the road, Young Joe becomes the Gorillaz. While Rian Johnson later attempted to explain that dimension warp is a side effect of time travel, it was actually a mistake made in editing when they attempted to save money by re-using music video footage for the scene.

  • Cornelius Tacitus

    "Billy goats are not 'nature's time travelers'" made my chest hurt from the effort of not laughing loud enough to attract the attention of my entire floor.

    Kris Straub is a national treasure. He needs a sitcom, or a show on CNN, or something.

    • FanMan

      Which is exactly the reason he will not get one…

      Stop being so funny, Kris, so that some major producer will actually hire you!

  • If I worked at a movie theater I would load the film into the projector as a Möbius strip and play it in reverse and call it Looper: The Director's Uncut.

  • Sol

    Memorable Quotes:

    Young Joe. You mean the neighbor's kid, little Freddy, grows up to be the boss of the Time-Mob?
    Old Joe. That's right.
    Young Joe. He was right next door to us! All this time!

  • Hey Anony

    "Knives do not “mature” into guns when buried.

    Grand theft auto would not produce enough energy to power a time machine, even if said machine did run on “crime energy." "

    I want to see this, in some kind of sci-time-crime Buckaroo Banzai.