I had originally said this was "great" over in the 'Movies' thread, but after giving it some more thought I have to retract that statement.
While I do like the fresh-ish idea concerning the use of time travel, but anytime you mess with time travel, you really just end up ****ing up continuity (see: Terminator).
In this movie, it showed JGL and Willis's characters in separate timelines, which they would have to have done in order for them both to exist at the same point in one timeline; but we saw that everything that happened to JGL in his own timeline directly affected Willis (we see that in his 'fuzzy memories, physical scarring and of course the ending scene). With that said, Willis was sent back in time to be killed by the Rainmaker and his goal was to kill the Rainmaker as a child to save his future wife's life. That doesn't really make much sense though because Willis talking to/interacting with his past self (JGL) should have completely changed his future (and subsequently himself). We could tell that he was obviously falling in love with Sarah and likely would have pursued a relationship with her although he never even would have met her had Willis not gone back in time. Also, he was attempting to kill the Rainmaker, but if the Rainmaker weren't alive to take over the future, who knows when Willis would have been sent back to seal his loop? He could have ended up going to Shanghai 5 years later or earlier or whatever. There's no guarantee that he would have met his future wife anyway.
Is this making any sense? I don't know; it sounded much clearer in my head. I guess he wasn't lying when he said it was a "precise description of a fuzzy concept".
Whatever. If that doesn't make sense, I thought the telekinetic storyline was kind of out of place. Plus JGL's makeup ****ing blew. I guess they had to make him look more like a younger Bruce Willis but damn, they could have done better..
Also, why did they spend so much time showing JGL learning French and discussing his plans to go to France only for us to find out that (from Willis's timeline) he went straight to Shanghai for 'retirement'?
EDIT: It was a great watch, for sure, just not technically a great movie in my opinion..
I had intended to watch this some time ago, but it slipped my mind until I had a chance to recently.
OK. First you have to realize that there were multiple time streams in the movie. By that I mean that all events are malleable and that cause and effect will naturally follow after changes have been made. Willis tipped the audience off to that with his conversation in the diner about how is memories can change. Time travel movies follow their own rules because no one really knows what happens when/if you travel in time like that. The people that make the movie decide how to handle the rules for their universe.
So for Willis it was enough to do anything to keep his wife from being killed. He already had his time with her and she only existed in his memory. After he jumps back and interacts with his young self he begins to understand that his presence is changing the timestream too much. That means his mission is to preserve the events that lead to JGL eventually meeting and falling in love with his wife while eliminating events that led to her death. The scene where Willis looks at his watch and starts having trouble remembering the first time he saw "her" face is the tipoff that it may be completely impossible for him to do that because he has already affected his own timeline too much as it is.
That's the overall message of the story. Joe clumsily tries to "fix" things to make the universe match up with what he wants it to be and ends up just ****ing it up worse. In the process he turns a gifted child into a monster. His younger self realizes this and decides that the only way to "fix" the universe is to remove himself from it because his motivations are selfish and harmful, and he can't change.
Oh, thou clear spirit, of thy fire thou madest me, and like a true child of fire, I breathe it back to thee.