Posts Tagged ‘Madeleine Stowe’

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
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
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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