When the future of the planet is in jeopardy following the outbreak if a deadly disease, a convict travels back in time to gather information on the source of the outbreak.In 1997, a deadly virus kills 99% of the human population, forcing the survivors to flee underground and allowing the animals to rule the world once more. One of the survivors, imprisoned sociopath James Cole (Bruce Willis) is chosen to return to the past and find the source of the outbreak and gather information that could prove useful in defending the human race against the disease. Once he is back in the past, James investigates the Army Of The Twelve Monkeys and is to report his findings, but a man claiming to be fighting human extinction is not what the rest of the world is willing to accept as part of its view on sanity.
In preparation for my appearance on Talking Stars, an emergency viewing of Twelve Monkeys had to take place as it was probably the one big Bruce Willis film that I had not seen. It was after watching it that I was reminded of the reasons why I hadn’t rushed to see it before – I’m really not the greatest science-fiction fan, no matter who might be the star of the show.
Willis was kind of his usual self here. James was one of those reluctant hero types, and was a character who certainly wasn’t out of place played by Willis. However, it did feel as though rather too much emphasis was being put on the fact that his character was mentally insecure, or was at least viewed by everyone else to be. I don’t know, it just wasn’t my favourite role of Willis’ for the reason that while it tried to stay in fairly familiar territory, it also attempted to change things up too much.
That’s not the story for all of the performances though, Brad Pitt played Jeffrey Goines – someone James meets during his time at the institution and who later becomes a leading figure in the Army Of The Twelve Monkeys. Pitt provides a stunning performance as the lightly clinically insane Jeffrey and was absolutely mesmerising to watch. It’s not hard to see why this was a big breakout role for Pitt, who was rewarded for his efforts with an Oscar nomination for his performance. If anything, it was worth watching Twelve Monkeys just for him.
For me, the film’s major downfall came with the plot and the genre it all fell into. As I’ve said, I’m not the biggest lover of sci-fi films, and so the second a film crosses over into that genre I immediately get sceptical. It was fine until I got past the halfway mark and then the storyline lost me, or rather I lost it.
All in all, Twelve Monkeys probably isn’t a film that I’ll be rushing to see again, although I probably should in order to understand it slightly better. Acting overall was pretty average with glimpses or brilliance, and you know how I felt about the plot. It just wasn’t my cup of tea, and will therefore be joining all of the other sci-fi films I just couldn’t hack.