TGWTG Film Club Review #4: Twelve Monkeys

September 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Ladies and Gentleman, I’m here to make something official – Twelve Monkeys is the best movie directed by Terry Gilliam. No, Really. To Me, This is the best Terry has ever done along with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Brazil and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The movie is suspenseful, mind-blowing and claustrophobic at the same time and I enjoy every minute of it. Now I know that it’s not Terry’s original idea since it’s ”inspired” by La Jetee, an 1960s short film with a similar plot and I never seen it. Sure enough, It can be seen on YouTube but I know how it ends… that is unless Terry change the ending up a bit. So let me start the story…

Did you know that Terry’s original idea of 12 Monkeys actually involved Talking Monkeys? Nope than considered yourself fooled.

The movie involves James Cole (Bruce Willis), a prisoner who keeps having dreams involving the death of a certain somebody on the airport. He exists in an now-alternate future where the virus (I call this ”The Gilliam Syndrome” since either I forgot what’s it called or that they never mentioned it) drove the remained humanity to underground and let the animals roam the earth (or one city that well… you probably get the idea). He is assigned to travel to the mid-nineties to see how ”The Gilliam Syndrome” started and so on. But here’s the fucking twist, Their time travel device is malfunctioned and actually sends him to 1990 to the point he is committed to a mental institution. You know what? That is a good plot device, An actual time-traveller send back in time and his actions landed him to the loony bin. We haven’t seen that in other time travel movies before that (well, except that ”1985A newspaper article” on Back to the Future Part II but moving on)…

Bruce and Brad are pissed that Ashton Kutcher’s twitter stalkers are always near them.

During his stay in the Baltimore Mental Hospital, He meets two people who becomes part of his life – Dr. Kathryn Railly (Madeleine Stowe, who pretty much does few films and several television stuff before her retirement to the movie business last year) and Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt, who pretty much does more films before I discovered him to be an atheist and I can take that). Now Jeffrey Goines is send there because of his animal rights and anti-consumerism. Wait a minute, Brad Pitt plays a guy who’s not down with Consumerism. You know what? Screw Jeffrey Goines, I’m just gonna call you ”Tyler Durden” throughout the review.

Brad Pitt is an atheist! Okay, So what is Angelina Jolie’s religious status anyway?

Back to the Baltimore 1990 time period and the movie became filled with familiar Gilliam motifs and styles even to the point Jack nearly escaped but he eventually send back to his own timeline. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Kathyn thinks Jack is a bit familiar but we get to that part later. Nothing much happens before his second time travelling occurs when he accidentally is sent to WWI era and got a bullet. Not only that, he’s not the only time-traveller to being accidentally send there since his friend Jose. But don’t worry, he is eventually sent to the mid-nineties and kidnapped Kathryn who’s now an best-selling author. Jack wants to track down Tyler Durdan but before that, they see a painted graffiti of ”Twelve Monkeys” logo (along with Muse poster which predates the band’s mainstream career) and a weird shop with plants and animal noises soundtrack. It’s claustrophobic at best and I’m going straight through Jack meeting Tyler Durden who’s now acting like a spoiled son of his millionaire father (played by Chrisopher Plummer) and it’s a matter of minutes before Jack returns to his timeline.

I didn’t know Muse have the part of this movie, Sweet!

Before the third time-travelling act, Kathryn gets visited by Detective Elliot Stabler (okay, Christopher Meloni as a detective but who cares? He’s still Stabler) and later discovers where she recognised Jack from earlier, on a WWI photo with Jose also pictured. Now on the final act and things are getting crazy, Kathryn now believes Jack’s future history and they try to prevent the virus. While thinking it was Tyler’s doing, they are actually releasing animals to the streets (along with killing Tyler’s father!) and it was actually Dr. Peters (David Morse) who has the holding of the virus and about to unleash on the airport. Jack and Kathryn (in disguise) are attempt to stop Dr. Peters before Jack sees Jose and other time-travellers in the airport and this point explains the ending – Dr. Peter did unleash ”The Gilliam Syndrome” and Jack attempts to shoot Dr. Peters but the security guards with guns stopped that. And Jack’s death is being seen by a little kid who later turns out to be Jack Cole. Thus, This explains the nightmare part of the story.

Don’t tell this kid but he will grow up to be Hudson Hawk and that Easter Bunny from North.

The movie ends with Dr. Peters on the airplane, Jack Cole closing the time loop and the world filled with animals. To Me, this is the best Terry Gilliam I ever seen (again, along with the other three I previously mentioned) and it’s one of the best Time Travelling stories ever told. Now if excuse me while I’m gonna leap to somebody else and putting things right that once went wrong and hoping the next leap will be… well, you get the idea.

Sunuvabitch, I leaped into a monkey again!


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