Stimulated by time travel mayhem

Sunday afternoon proved a winner thanks to a friend’s suggestion to go and watch the new sci-fi release “Looper,” one of the better films I’ve seen for a long time.

The film’s story is set in a not too distant dystopian future of 2044 and about an assassin, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, paid to kill people sent back from an even more distant future, until the person sent for him to kill is his older self, played by Bruce Willis, who ends up escaping.

This leads to an amazingly messy and thrilling tangle of racing against the clock, violence, and time travel conundrums and contortions.

Near the end of the film, Willis goes all out with some heavy gun violence, which resulted in some of the audience laughing. But the violence didn’t appear tongue in cheek or satirical and I certainly couldn’t work out what might be funny.

Okay, I acknowledge this could be straying into righteous blog territory, but it’s hard not to wonder about people’s relationship with violence when they react that way to unpleasant images.

If nothing else, it proved annoying by negating the dramatic tension I’m guessing the director was going for. Maybe Willis did look a bit comical, puffing away and blowing the hell out of all the bad guys—though I thought you did a pretty good job throughout the film, Bruce.

But the film offered hope Hollywood can still produce engagingly entertaining and intelligent movies.  We left the auditorium riding an entertaining film-induced high so that we barely noticed or cared about the autumnal chill as we walked across the parking lot.

Driving away from the cinema, the cherry was put on the cake when Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the dark” started playing on the radio. Bliss.