YI JIAN’s review published on Letterboxd:
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and for you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.
How does Terry Gilliam do it? So effortlessly absorbing you into his twisted imagination? Two dialogues and three scenes after and the viewer is already stuck inside his dystopian world, unable and unwilling to leave, just like Bruce Willis in 12 Monkeys, in which he was sent back in time to stop a virus from spreading all over the world, forcing everyone to live underground like worms, while the surface belongs to dogs and cats.
"I want this to be the present. I want to stay here.. this time.. with you." said James Cole the time traveler. I can definitely relate to that. No one ever wishes to leave once they've stepped inside the mind of Terry Gilliam. Choosing to play Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" in the end credits is just plain cruel. Already depressed that the film was about to end, the opening notes of the song hit me directly in the feels. So much varying emotions clashing together in me I couldn't even feel my legs.
Both Bruce Willis and the crazy fucking Brad Pitt gave revolutionary performances here. Through 12 Monkeys they had forever reshaped the modern acting standards. My favorite scene is no doubt the one where James Cole heard music in Railly's car. The fact that Nicholas Cage won an Oscar for best actor in the year 1996 for Leaving Las Vegas while Bruce Willis didn't even get nominated is laughably ridiculous. (Okay, I've never watched Leaving Las Vegas, but still.)
Anyway, I miss crazy Brad Pitt. Now he has transformed into a sexy, masculine, serious pretty face leading man. Fury, World War Z, etc.), can't say I hate it, but whenever something or someone reminds me of the good old insane Brad, I would shed tears of nostalgia.
"This man is complete bat shit! Ladies and gentlemen, do you realize where he thinks he comes from!?"
12 Monkeys is brilliant, a work of a genius. The film plays a big part in my life as it has always been with me since my childhood. I've coincidentally watched it on Christmas so in a way this is a Christmas film for me. Actually, all Terry Gilliam films are Christmas films for me. I guess you can say Terry Gilliam is Santa Claus. So there you have it, my first film for the Buddy The Elf Challenge.