12 Monkeys

Dir: Terry Gilliam
Star: Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeline Stowe, Christopher Plummer

This takes the same basic theme as The Terminator, i.e. man goes back in time to prevent bad future, but goes in more thoughtful directions, rather than heading into techno-whizzery. You'll need all your concentration to follow David Peoples' script, which struggles manfully to keep everything in check, while addressing Gilliam's favourite themes of alienation and liberty. Willis runs around trying to stop the release of a deadly disease, eventually convincing psychiatrist Stowe that he does indeed know what he's talking about, while Pitt is an immensely irritating animal activist (though is there any other sort?). Visually, it's full of great images: wild animals running on the streets of New York. However, I never felt engaged emotionally by the characters, and felt cheated that so much plot time was spent on a huge red-herring. Plus, if the future is really that grim, is it actually worth saving?


Monkey Business
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