What not to say: Young Joe Simmons (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) kills himself to stop old Joe Simmons (Bruce Willis) from murdering telekinetic child Cid Harrington (Pierce Gagnon), despite the fact that in the future little Cid may turn into a mafia mastermind called “The Rainmaker”. The lead character kills himself (and in so doing, the other lead character) to ensure the end of/save the world? That’s definitely a spoiler.
How Looper gets to the point where Gordon-Levitt’s incarnation of Simmons decides to blunderbuss himself off this mortal coil is a long and complicated one, so perhaps a casual eavesdropper wouldn’t be too fussed if he or she heard someone trying to untangle Looper’s many plot threads – but there’s no doubt that the less you know about Looper before you see it, the better. That said, even knowing that young Cid is genetically superhuman is a spoiler of a sort, so safest not to mention that either.
Did we see it coming? Not really. Those well versed in time travel shenanigans will know that certain figure of 8s can only be worked out a few ways, and a dual-time character killing himself can be an option, if required. It’s still a great shock when it does happen, however, since the sight of a hero suiciding to 'save the day' remains a cinematic rarity. The quiet moment of desperation comes as the otherwise reasonably low-fi sci-fi suddenly blasts the budget on telekinetic funtimes, flipping cars and flattened fields of crops, making it clear that this is the only way out for Simmons.
Back to the spoiler menu