In the way-back times, we had this thing called Columbia House. It was a subscription-based music and film service that allowed you to buy albums and movies at a discounted rate. To sign up, you sometimes got these crazy deals like 10 movies (on VHS, cough) for $1 or something ludicrous like that. It was brilliant, in a way. But somehow and for some reason, you always ended up canceling and trying, sometimes a few months later, to resubscribe to get back at those super-cheap movies. This is how I came to be in possession of several copies of Terry Gilliam’s time-hopping-science-fiction masterpiece, “12 Monkeys”.
I. Loved. This. Movie. Well, truth be known, I still do.
Of course 1995 and 1996 were some of the busiest years of my life, thus far, in terms of moving and relocating. For those of you who have been there, when you move … you lose shit. I lost a lot of stuff. Stuff I invariably wanted to replace. Like my VHS copy of “12 Monkeys”.
Bruce Willis stars as James Cole, who, as a convicted criminal (we never find out what his crimes are or were) is offered a unique opportunity to help gather information, evidence, samples for a potential reduction in his sentence. The surface of the Earth has been ravaged by an unforgiving virus. Humankind, or what’s left of it, has been forced to retreat. Scientists hope, with the information Cole is able to retrieve, they may begin to heal the world and return humanity to the surface.
Time hopping between the future and the past (our present when the film was released), James Cole’s mind begins to unravel. What is real? What is imagined? Who are the army of the 12 monkeys? Are they responsible for unleashing a bio-chemical attack that spurs the beginning of the end for the whole of humanity? You can be sure of nothing. As Cole slowly starts to act, react and interact with the inhabitants of the past, his very reality begins to change.
Brad Pitt turns in one of the most memorable performances of his career (thus far) as Jeffrey Goines, the mentally unstable son of a prominent doctor. Pitt was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Supporting Actor) and won a Golden Globe for his performance. Personally, I think it was thanks to the actor’s unflinching disrobing of his (very white) hind region.
“12 Monkeys” is a delight to watch and re-watch. Having recently purchased yet another copy of the film (this time in digitally remastered DVD format) I think it’s a film that truly stands the test of time. No pun intended.
Explore more –
Online: 12 Monkeys on IMDB.com
Wiki facts: 12 Monkeys wiki
Watch the trailer: 12 Monkeys HD trailer