Writer: David Webb Peoples, Janet Peoples (Screenplay)
Starring: Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeleine Stowe, David Morse, Christopher Plummer
Plot: In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: True Classic of Time Travel Genre
Story: Twelve Monkeys starts as we learn 7 billion people died thanks to virus released and the animals have taken control of the planet once more. The remaining humans live underground and we follow James Cole (Willis) a prisoner who is assigned to visit the surface before being selected to visit the past to try and stop the virus outbreak.
When James is sent back to 1990 he finds himself being set to a mental institute thanks to the doctor Kathryn Railly (Stowe) who sees his ramblings of a mad man as he searches for the army of the 12 monkeys. On his time in the mental home he meets the eccentric Jeffrey Goines (Pitt) who has to show him around and preach his beliefs.
Failing on his first mission Cole gets sent back again and again until he works with Kathryn to uncover the truth behind the secrets of the twelve monkeys and the virus who destroyed the world.
Twelve Monkeys gives us a time travel movie that is also plays out as a virus outbreak that has happened. We get a time travel story that does try to solve the mystery of how the virus came about as we have to put together loose clues sent back. The mystery is great to see how it gets solved even though we get a false lead for most of the film. There are certain moments in the film which could have given us more mystery for example one big side to the story is whether Cole is sane or not and there is never a doubt that he has time travelled and I believe creating that doubt could add another dimension to this film.
Bruce Willis: James Cole comes from the future to try and uncover the truth about a virus which wiped out humanity while he was just a child. Each time he returns he uncovers more clues working with doctor Kathryn Railly they search for the answers to what will create the future where humans have been whittled down to 1%. Bruce is great showing how he can work the more serious roles stepping away from the action genre.
Madeleine Stowe: Kathryn Railly is a psychologist that has been treated Cole on his first visit only for when he disappears. When he returns she finds herself believing everything and working with him to save the human race. Madeleine is a good supporting character working with Bruce very well.
Brad Pitt: Jeffrey Goines is the leader of the army of the twelve monkeys who is going against his powerful father that has been experimenting on animals but is he the guy that released the virus? Brad gives us a performance that did truly break him out of the current roles of a pretty boy he had been making his name in.
David Morse: Dr Peters works for the animal trials where he gets close up information on what the monkeys are receiving making him just as much of a suspect as Jeffrey. David is only just a supporting role but he does well in the few scenes he has.
Support Cast: Twelve Monkeys has a supporting cast which interact with our main cast with the strange scientists in the future who are Terry Gilliam written all over them.
Director Review: Terry Gilliam – Terry unique style is all over this fil even with the most important part of the film coming off serious we get small elements which keep this being his own work.
Mystery: Twelve Monkeys keeps us wondering throughout the film to where the virus really came from even though the element of time travel will always stick to the fact he was a time traveller.
Sci-Fi: Twelve Monkeys has the idea that the world has been destroyed by a virus as well as having time travel shows the sci-fi side of the story.
Settings: Twelve Monkeys keeps the past and present looking very different so we can easily tell the two apart from Cole’s journeys.
Special Effects: Twelve Monkeys has good effects when needed without turning to them too often.
Suggestion: Twelve Monkeys is one I suggest everyone who is into time travel to watch at least once to see if they can understand the spin on an outbreak film. (Watch)
Best Part: The time travel spin on a virus film.
Worst Part: You may need a couple of viewings to understand parts of the film
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars.
Box Office: $57 Million
Budget: $29 Million
Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes
Tagline: The future is history
Overall: One of the best mind-bending time travel films out there.