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Looper

LOOPER

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. KANSAS - THE FUTURE (THE 2044 ONE)

Someone who vaguely resembles JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT is standing in a SUGAR FIELD. A HOODED MAN suddenly appears out of NOWHERE, and JOSEPH immediately SHOOTS him.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Whoa, what an intriguingly mysterious opening. It sure is going to be interesting to gradually discover what --

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT (V.O.)

Time travel has not yet been invented in the present perfect simple, but in the future perfect continuous, it will have been. So of course it makes perfect sense for the mob to use this groundbreaking technology as a horribly convoluted murder weapon, sending victims back in time to be killed by specialised assassins called "loopers".

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Or I can just explain everything up-front, that's fine too.

THEATRICAL TRAILER

Way ahead of you, buddy.

JOSEPH meets with FELLOW LOOPER PAUL DANO.

PAUL DANO

Hey Joseph! It is Joseph, isn't it?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Yes, it's me. The makeup department just went to really great lengths to stop people from seeing me as the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun.

(frowns fake eyebrows)

At least I think that's the reason.

PAUL DANO

You could also just start aging. Now I'm going to quickly levitate this coin to illustrate that one science fiction concept isn't enough for this movie.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

No need, I have this voice-over thing that blatantly explains everything.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT (V.O.)

Ten percent of the population now has minor telekinetic powers. This is used mainly as a parlor trick to pick up chicks.

PAUL DANO

We really do suck at putting groundbreaking abilities to good use.

INT. JOSEPH'S APARTMENT

That night, JOSEPH is woken by a PANICKED VISIT from PAUL.

PAUL DANO

(blubbering)

Joseph, you have to help me! My last target escaped! It was me from the future!

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT (V.O.)

Loopers only have thirty years to live after their contract runs out. When that time is up, they're sent back to be killed by their younger selves, which in turn starts those thirty years. This is referred to as "closing your loop".

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Shut up, me!

(beat)

Was your older self played by you with shitty old man makeup? Because I've lost my taste for that after seeing what they did to Ken Watanabe in Inception.

PAUL DANO

No, he was played by Frank Brennan. Even though I'm exempt for some reason, I think it's the younger versions who have to endure makeup.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Then who the fuck am I supposed to resemble? Seriously, my face hurts so much from smirking all the time.

NOAH SEGAN suddenly shows up, forcing JOSEPH to HIDE PAUL.

NOAH SEGAN

Hello! I'm your boss' henchman and a convenient plot device. Whenever a scene starts dragging on or needs a resolution, I show up.

INT. CLUB

NOAH takes JOSEPH to meet with their BOSS, JEFF DANIELS.

JEFF DANIELS

I was sent back from the past to oversee the loopers. Please note that you will now be constantly wondering who the younger me is.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

I've not yet seen anyone with any blatant Jeff Daniels makeup.

JEFF DANIELS

Look, we know about Paul Dano and his future self. If you don't turn him over, we're going to take half your savings. Very genial of me, no?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Fine. He's hidden in my apartment in the same place where I keep all my savings. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go choke on the irony of that.

EXT. CITY STREETS

PAUL'S OLDER SELF, FRANK BRENNAN, is running around, trying to do A THING. Suddenly an ADDRESS is mysteriously CARVED into his ARM, after which all his EXTREMITIES start to disappear.

FRANK BRENNAN

Oh no, they must've captured Paul and now they're torturing him to get at me! But it makes no sense for my future self to be reshaped on the spot like this, because everything else we've seen points to a case of multiple timelines! And I have plenty more inconsistencies to point out, but I think I just lost my tonnggrrhhllmmnn.

FRANK heads for the ADDRESS where he is immediately KILLED by JEFF'S MEN.

EXT. SUGAR FIELD

JOSEPH has a brief spell of POIGNANT INTROSPECTION and then heads over to his NEXT TARGET because MONEY. It turns out to be BRUCE WILLIS.

BRUCE WILLIS

Oh for fuck's sake! After Twelve Monkeys and The Kid, I am so done with meeting my younger self!

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Oh, so I'm wearing an unconvincing Bruce Willis mask! Now I know why half my nose is gone and my ears have been folded back on themselves. Twice.

BRUCE WILLIS

At least you got to keep your hair. But come on, what's with those constantly pursed lips? Did you suck on a lemon to make my face or something?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Wouldn't it have been easier to just accept that I look nothing like you rather than constantly calling attention to that fact with this makeup and making everyone obsess over it?

BRUCE WILLIS

Let's see if we can't punch some of it off. Also, I'm left-handed, dipshit.

BRUCE punches JOSEPH and ESCAPES.

EXT. SHANGHAI - THE FUTURE (THE 2074 ONE)

BRUCE has found PEACE alongside his WIFE. Then the MOB comes after him to CLOSE HIS LOOP, during which his WIFE is KILLED.

BRUCE WILLIS

Big no!

One of the MOB MEMBERS then uses some sort of BLUE FLASHY THINGY to KNOCK OUT BRUCE.

BRUCE WILLIS

Wait, you guys can incapacitate people? Why not do that right before sending them back and eliminate the risk of escape completely?

MOB MEMBER

Why are you expecting logic from people who keep a secretive and highly illegal time machine stored in an open warehouse?

BRUCE WILLIS

Let alone the fact that you could just as well play the stock market with time travel, but you're using it as a morgue.

BRUCE is sent back to 2044 and is KILLED by JOSEPH WAIT WHAT? Then JOSEPH grows OLDER, becomes BRUCE, gets sent back AGAIN, and ESCAPES AGAIN OW MY BRAIN.

INT. DINER - THE FUTURE (THE 2044 ONE AGAIN)

JOSEPH lures BRUCE over to a DINER by carving the WAITRESS' NAME into his ARM.

BRUCE WILLIS

Perhaps that trick was not the lesson you needed to take away from your friend's death.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Why'd you come back? You're not here to stop something bad from happening, are you? Because you're either going to fail or cause it to happen yourself, otherwise you wouldn't be here. Time travel 101.

BRUCE WILLIS

I don't want to talk about time travel, Joseph by whom I mean the audience. Let's just focus on the character-driven plot. I'm here to kill the Rainmaker, the man who controls the mob in the future. He's been closing all our loops.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

But you come from 2074, which is exactly thirty years from now. Your time was up anyway and you knew it was bound to happen, so I'm going to go ahead and insult you for being short-sighted while simultaneously validating that insult by utterly ignoring the fact that we're the same person.

BRUCE WILLIS

Yes, but when he tried to close my loop, the Rainmaker had my wife killed. She was my ticket out of a desolate life of crime. The power of love, remember that. Seriously, remember that.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

If you're here to save her, why not contrive a situation where you never meet her in the first place? An if-you-love-her-stay-away type deal.

BRUCE WILLIS

No, I don't want to give up my life with her, though my being here has already caused that to happen if we're not dealing with multiple timelines.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Then why are you calling me self-absorbed when you're here to preserve your lifestyle just the same?

BRUCE WILLIS

Oh, the Rainmaker has also taken control of all the crime syndicates to wage a global reign of terror yadda yadda. So I'm here to kill him before all that happens.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

So basically a reverse John Connor situation.

BRUCE WILLIS

Considering I only have enough information to narrow down my target to three possibilities, more of a Sarah Connor one.

NOAH SEGAN

I think you guys have been talking for way too fucking long! Intervention!

NOAH starts SHOOTING UP THE PLACE. JOSEPH escapes with ONE OF THE TARGET LOCATIONS and BRUCE runs off with THE OTHER TWO.

EXT. FARMHOUSE

JOSEPH follows his CLUE to a FARMHOUSE, where he meets EMILY BLUNT and her SHOTGUN.

EMILY BLUNT

What are you doing on my property? You interrupted my pantomime smoking!

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

I was told by myself from the future that this house might be the location of a person who will grow up to become a horribly evil mob boss. Say, you don't have a son perchance? No reason.

EMILY BLUNT

I do, but I challenge you to see him as a monster in the making. WOOK AT DAT WIDDLE FACE!

JOSEPH meets PIERCE GAGNON, who has the MOST POUTINGEST POUT EVER.

PIERCE GAGNON

I'm unusually precocious for my age, which I will demonstrate by showing way more insight than you.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

You've got a point there. Bruce mentioned that anything I do instantly becomes a memory in his head, but rather than use that against him, I'm just going to hang for a bit.

PAUL DANO

I'd just like to point out that this means Frank Brennan not only experienced the results of my torture, but got the memories of it as well. Fuck you, time travel.

Meanwhile...

EXT. CITY STREETS

After having KILLED ONE OF HIS TARGETS, BRUCE gets captured by NOAH and taken to JEFF DANIELS. Also, PIPER PERABO was there.

NOAH SEGAN

Finally I can prove to Jeff that I'm not a complete idiot! Come on, Bruce, we just have to pass by this completely unsecured armoury.

BRUCE WILLIS

Okay, I guess I can act out the police station scene from The Terminator as well.

BRUCE proceeds to take ALL THE WEAPONS and kill ALL THE PEOPLE save for NOAH.

JEFF DANIELS

Why was I in this movie again?

(dies)

BRUCE then heads on over to the FARMHOUSE in a MILK FLOAT. YES.

INT. FARMHOUSE

JOSEPH has gotten all CHUMMY with PIERCE.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

I thought this was a movie about time travel. When did this suddenly turn into an episode of Growing Pains?

PIERCE suddenly gets UPSET with EMILY, which causes him to have a POWERFUL TELEKINETIC OUTBURST.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Growing Pains with a hint of Carrie.

EMILY BLUNT

Yes, I'm raising a child who makes people explode whenever he throws a tantrum. Something wrong with that?

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Hmm, perhaps it's your love for the child that will keep him from becoming a monster. Truly, the power of love.

EMILY BLUNT

That's so romantic. Let's have sex inexplicably.

They have SEX INEXPLICABLY.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Wait, is this the start of me falling in love with you? Because maybe that'll prevent me from falling in love with that wife Bruce keeps going on about, which would make for a compelling --

EMILY BLUNT

Nope. That was all just to scratch an itch and we'll not mention it again ever. Also, your bottom lip came off when we were kissing.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Yeah, sorry about that.

The following morning, BRUCE arrives.

EXT. SUGAR FIELD

JOSEPH and BRUCE face each other.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Looks like we're at a stalemate. You can't kill me because you'd disappear and I can't kill you because it's been painstakingly established that my gun can't hit anything past fifteen yards.

BRUCE WILLIS

Good thing I didn't kill our handy plot device then.

NOAH SEGAN

I'm here! I'm here!

NOAH arrives on a HOVERBIKE and is KILLED by JOSEPH. BRUCE then manages to WOUND PIERCE, who gets PISSED THE FUCK OFF and LEVITATES ALL THE THINGS.

EMILY BLUNT

It's okay, mommy wuvs you. Shhh, you freak of nature, it's okay.

PIERCE GAGNON

So this is a science fiction movie where the power of love saves the day. Isn't that exactly what you did in The Adjustment Bureau?

EMILY BLUNT

Pretty much.

PIERCE calms down, which gives BRUCE an opening to SHOOT HIM. EMILY moves between them.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT (V.O.)

In that instant, I saw it all laid out before me in convenient flash-forwards. Bruce killing Emily and pushing Pierce into becoming the Rainmaker, thereby causing the very thing he tried to prevent. I couldn't let this cliché play out. I knew what had to be done.

JOSEPH turns his GUN on HIMSELF. His SUICIDE causes BRUCE to VANISH.

EMILY BLUNT

Oh, how noble!

(beat)

Wait, that's not noble, that's shirking responsibility! Now the fate of the world depends solely on my ability to not piss off a highly inflammable child.

PIERCE GAGNON

Mommy, I want to eat nothing but ice cream for the rest of my life.

EMILY BLUNT

Oh fuck.

An EPILOGUE shows YOU walking into the THEATRE to see LOOPER WHOA WHAT THE FUCK.

END