Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, Brad Pitt
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Time traveling, an army of 12 Monkeys, and a virus set to kill five billion people makes for a promising movie. Oh yeah, and Bruce Willis plays the lead character in this mind-twisting sci-fi thriller.
Time traveling movies may be predictable but in this one, director Terry Gilliam has viewers guessing all the way up to the last twenty minutes. It may become a bit confusing when James Cole (Willis) is sent back and forth in time to feed information to future scientists about a rebel group called the 12 Monkeys. At first Cole is sent six years earlier than his set date of 1996 and finds himself in a mental institution for beating up police officers in a post-time jump haze. Add some mumbling and an insane Brad Pitt come the next scene, viewers may be questioning why they are still watching it.
It’s not until a few time jumps later and a psychiatrist once held hostage by Cole that he starts to get help trying to prevent the destruction of mankind. It’s up to the two to find the 12 Monkey’s and grab a sample of the virus to prevent the oncoming apocalypse.
Similar to this movie is 2012’s “Looper” where events come full circle, which seems to be the pattern in time traveling movies. In both movies, Bruce Willis comes back in time to change future events and what drives him to try doing so is to get his life back. In “Twelve Monkeys” Cole is a prisoner volunteering to reduce his sentence by going on a mission to find the 12 Monkeys. It shows a serious acting skill to see Willis in a role as a man who is sane but appears to be insane. Brad Pitt is equally frightening as a mentally unstable person in this movie, who gets worked up as he goes into a spiel about life.
While it may seem slow in the beginning and a little confusing, “Twelve Monkeys” is worth sticking out to the end. Chances are if you liked “Looper”, “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest”, or “Children of Men”, then “Twelve Monkeys” is the sci-fi thriller for you.