Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Willis’

Apocalypse now and again: 20 years later, Terry Gilliam’s ‘12 Monkeys’ is just as frightening and brilliant as ever

February 10, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Feb. 10, 2015

12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam’s 1995 science fiction movie, is the story of a frequently injured and befuddled time traveler who is attempting to investigate a devastating plague. I saw it when it was first released; I did not much like it then, although I thought it was undeniably clever and impressive.

Recently, I re-watched the movie. It is a brilliant and harrowing film.

In 1997, when James Cole was a child, a disease wiped out the vast majority of the human population, forcing the survivors to flee to a nightmarish subterranean complex. The adult Cole, a violent convict played by Bruce Willis, is sent back in time by a group of somewhat buffoonish scientists. The experts believe they can render the plague harmless by studying samples of the original disease, before it began to mutate.

It’s never explained why examining the earliest iteration of the disease would be more helpful in finding a cure than studying its current varieties. Then again, as the mysterious Louis sardonically tells Cole, “Science ain’t an exact science with these clowns.”

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The retirees of ‘RED 2’ provide chuckles and thrills

July 25, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
July 25, 2013

RED 2 is an enjoyable but superficial romp that finally answers this inessential question: If you can’t have fun with the prospect of millions of innocent people being incinerated by a nuclear terrorist, what can you have fun with?

Director Dean Parisot’s sequel centers on retired/extremely dangerous — RED, get it?! — American secret agent Frank Moses. He finds himself unwillingly dragged out of a quiet retirement, along with his action-hungry girlfriend, Sarah, when officials suddenly begin asking questions about one Operation Nightshade. The pair join with Moses’ eccentric former partner, Marvin, to figure out why a botched long-ago operation in Russia has become newly relevant.

The fast-paced RED 2 sends the group to Paris, London and Moscow as they go about unraveling the mystery. Along the way, they tangle with Jack Horton, a murderous American officer who’s determined to keep Nightshade buried; Katja, a Russian frenemy whose old romance with Moses fuels an intense jealousy in Sarah; a retired British agent named Victoria who has been hired by MI-6 to kill her two former colleagues and friends; and Han Cho Bai, a deadly Korean mercenary with a grudge against Moses whom the Americans hire to assassinate Moses and Marvin. Read the rest of this entry »

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