12 Monkeys

Release date:
January 5, 1996
Quick review:
Terry Gilliam's imaginative visual sense takes him a long way, even when his movies fail to present anything new in terms of plot. That's the case here as Bruce Willis stars as a man from the 21st century who returns first to 1990 and then 1996 to discover the source of a viral plague that has decimated humankind. Madeleine Stowe is the psychiatrist who takes him as a patient, and who ends up believing his incredible story, and Brad Pitt portrays a demented-but-conniving animal-rights activist. The acting is uniformly good, especially Willis recalling the soulful effect of 20th-century music, and the sets are pure Gilliam (a rotating attachment of multiple videos, futuristic prisons in which prisoners are treated like farm stock, etc.). It's the story that falls short, offering only a half-baked representation of time and space and all things unchangeably regretful.