Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt, Christopher Plummer
1995, 131 Minutes, Directed by: Terry Gilliam
in a while a science fiction film comes along that makes you
wonder why Hollywood can't make more such films. A film that is
truly original and doesn't seem to be ripping off plots like
Barbwire did with Casablanca
(even though it is a remake of a seldom seen 1962 French short film titled La
and compellingly well-written, acted, directed and acted.
strongest aspect of 12 Monkeys is its plot with so many
twists and turns that I don't want to spoil any of it by delving
too deeply into the story. Suffice to say, it is a time travel
story in which Bruce Willis is sent from a future devastated by a
manmade plague to find a cure of sorts in the present-day 1990s.
production values, some virtuoso performances by Madeleine Stowe
and Brad Pitt (as a lunatic asylum inmate - this man's sex symbol
status is definitely dropping) and the deft direction by Terry
Gilliam makes this a must-see movie for anybody who's serious
about science fiction. Why? Because it has a story - and a good
one at that - with characters one cares about and isn't just a
flashy display of what today's special effects teams are capable
of. Anybody out there in Hollywood listening to any of this?
people complained that they found the story line too complicated
(a couple sitting behind me were completely nonplussed). This is
somehow sad: 12 Monkeys' story line can be termed
"intelligent", not "complicated." It's a sad
day for humanity when the sight of Sylvester Stallone blowing
away countless bad guys with a machine gun is the only story line
that modern cinema audiences seem to be able to follow . . .
Terry Gilliam also directed
(with hindsight) is now recognized to be the seminal science
fiction movie of the 1980s. With this, he has created the seminal
science fiction movies for the 1990s. Let's hope he's still
around making films in the next decade . . .
Sci-Fi Movie Page Pick: Clever, intelligent. Don't be put
off by people who claimed that the plot is too complex: this Terry Gilliam movie
is intelligently crafted and beautifully shot and filmed.
Top 100 Sci-Fi
of all time