The future is history
In the year 2035, convict James Cole (Bruce Willis) reluctantly volunteers to be sent back in time to discover the origin of a deadly virus that wiped out nearly all of the earth's population and forced the survivors into underground communities. But when Cole is mistakenly sent to 1990 instead of 1996, he's arrested and locked up in a mental hospital. There he meets psychiatrist Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe), and patient Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt), the son of a famous virus expert, who may hold the key to the mysterious rogue group, the Army of the 12 Monkeys, thought to be responsible for unleashing the killer disease.
I didn't really intend to, but after watching La Jetee yesterday I felt the need to watch the film it inspired so much again. And watching it with the powerful imagery of La jetee fresh in the back of my mind, I think Gilliam's film just possibly got a bit better. Even though I didn't think that possible.
I feel 12 Monkeys is one of the greatest Science Fiction films ever made and it certainly ranks among Gilliam's very best. It is a film that creates a perfect mixture of visual flair, intrigue, drama and Sci-Fi conceit. It simply excels on all levels a film should work on.
The first viewing of this film is arguably the best as the…
I feel that this type of 90s science fiction movies primarily heavily relied on the skill and storytelling talent of the cast. Nowadays you can cover bad, or even just average, acting up with some mind-blowing graphics and special effects and most people won't notice the glitch. That's such a shame. Too many modern science fiction films focus mainly on the visual effect they make on the audience rather than the story or the actors, which means when you're looking through the sci-fi genre you have to somehow sieve through all the movies to pick out the few with actual unique plots.
'Twelve Monkeys' has an incredibly strong plot that follows through perfectly and I thought it was backed up…
"I was attacked by a coked up whore and a fuckin' crazy dentist!"
My favorite Gilliam film.
For my money this is Terry Gilliam's best film, one in which he gets to show off his tremendously unique visual style, but in which it doesn't overtake the story or collapse into a dissonant mess.
That story, based on a screenplay by BLADE RUNNER and UNFORGIVEN writer David Webb Peoples, is a corker, too. A memorably unhinged Bruce Willis plays an unstable man from the future sent back in time to gather information on a virus that wiped out 99% of the population and sent the remaining 1% deep underground, with the hope of developing a cure to restore the human race to the surface of the Earth in the present. Naturally, when he gets to the year 1996…
First things first, how come I've had this for seven months and I've only just got round to watching this? There is something wrong with you, Toby.
Anyway, the movie. From the psychedelic opening credits, you can tell that this is will be no ordinary sci-fi movie. And it isn't. Then you see the scientists talking to Bruce Willis and realize that nothing about this film could be described as ordinary in any sense of the term. By the end of the film, your mind will feel physical pain.
The acting here though is, quite simply, phenomenal, with Bruce Willis' performance as the man repeatedly sent back in time being one of the most emotional I've seen in a while.…
Time traveling dilemmas intertwined with psychological possible unreal issues mixed with romance. So complex and yet, so fantastic.
Why the fuck did I give this a mere FOUR stars initially? Am I a fucking idiot? Or are Terry Gilliam's films just so dense that sometimes one needs to see them, say, three times in order to fully appreciate their abstract majesty?
I don't *think* I'm an idiot.
Allein schon weil ich zweimal Bruce knackige Hinterrückseite unbekleidet sehen durfte, fand ich den Film toll! Muss auf jeden Fall auf DVD her!
It just proves how really messed up time is.
Human brain is made to process the concept of linear time where past, present future has definite values. 12 monkeys takes this basic hypothesis and starts twisting, looping it to a point of no return.
But Sc-fi is not all. Along with it, it gives a psychological angle and underlines the excessive mental pressure the lead has to go through to convince himself of anything that is real and which is the present. At times even the audience is confused in believing that he is really a deranged person.
The romantic angle is not emphasized but not absent. Performance of the cast is indeed good. I'd recommend it.
Gilliamile kohaselt küllaldaselt abstraktne ja hullumeelne kuid siiski mõeldud meelelahutusliku seiklusfilmina ning seega ei rõhuta ega toeta eriti kaalukalt antud loos sisalduvatele ideedele. Põhiliseks inspiratsiooniks on Chris Markeri eksperimentaalne lühifilm La Jetee (1962), mis oli tõeline kunstifilm, mis kasutas loo põhilist ulmelist ajasrändamise eeldust ettekäändena uurida teatud sügavaid ideid vägagi sürreaalsel ja poeetilisel viisil. Siin on rohkem keskendutud just sellele ulmelisele (ja kahtlemata ka klassikaliselt põnevamale) poolele ning ideed lihtsalt jäävad taamale rippuma. Need kaks elementi ei sulandugi kahjuks millekski enamaks, kuid tegemist on siiski ülimalt nauditavalt ja visuaalselt eripäraselt tehtud filmiga. Kindlasti on ka tegemist Bruce Willise ühe parima rolliga.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
While not thoroughly outstanding in memory, Twelve Monkeys will always remain at an extravagant limbo of my mind, emerging constantly to exemplify my preferences concerning films. Gilliam version of Marker's story contains lots of what is necessary to keep my attention in focus. Confused, eccentric characters, dealing with intricate situations on an austere, decaying atmosphere.
Chances are, out of the billions of films that incorporate these characteristics, this one was the first to be analyzed by me with a critical eye. For this sole reason, my overall impression must have been impaired, and a good movie, perfectly enjoyable, suddenly becomes a term of reference for all ''time-travel, mind bending, dystopian science-fiction'' that insists on popping up in my conversations.
Time travel films have been done many times, attempted before, but never succeeded fully to the level of Twelve Monkeys, which I am struggling to search for a plot hole for. I'm actually LOOKING for things to pick at, that's how damn good this movie is. My only complaint is the beginning is a little slow and not as interesting as I think it will be on a re-watch. I don't think I was in the right mood, but boy did this get me into it.
The final hour is immense, the pieces come together and the story soldiers on even stronger than before, it really is something to behold. Bruce Willis is excellent as is Madeleine Stowe, they are…
If I've learned anything about Terry Gilliam it's that I need to watch this again before giving a more comprehensive review.