Twelve Monkeys

Twelve Monkeys ★★★★½

***Dinner with Gilliam - 7th Course***

Twelve Monkeys almost feels like the logical conclusion to Terry Gilliam's examination of imagination, it is a dark, twisting narrative in which the mind's attempts to escape the horrors of reality only succeed at falling into more horrid nightmares. Set in a bleak future in which mankind has been ravaged by disease, a group of scientists send a prisoner back in time to try and ascertain the origins of the deadly virus. Gilliam keeps things vague throughout, allowing the viewer to decide whether or not lead character Cole is really from the future, or just insane. To this end, the film's design work is top notch, exploring similar space as Gilliam's masterpiece Brazil. The future is decked out in rust and plastic, while the poverty stricken urban sprawl of the present is no more appealing. Lead performers Bruce Willis and Madeleine Stowe are fine in their respective roles, it is co-star Brad Pitt who truly dominates the film with his manic energy and unnerving mannerisms, Pitt gives one of the best performances of his career here. Twelve Monkeys is one of the best time travel films ever made, working its way through its winding story in a perfect fashion, and bringing Gilliam's obsession with imagination to more harrowing and realistic places then it ever has before.

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