12 Monkeys Movie Review
The sci-fi genre... aliens, space travel, phenomenons... and time travel. That's what 12 Monkeys is about: time travel, although it's not as sci-fi related as it appears. Bruce Willis is a time traveler, which makes 12 Monkeys a sci-fi movie, but the entirety of it is not as complex as one would think. In fact, every scene that takes place in 2035 is just a souped-up shell that makes 12 Monkeys look a lot more technical than it is.
In 2035, all the "volunteers" are in tiny, wire cages and are lifted up and out with cables. The world above is devoid of human life, but wild animals like bears, tigers, and spiders run wild, and below is where the humans live. For some reason, the entire underground system looks like an alien spacecraft, for reasons unknown - it does not look like humans constructed it. This was just the first attempt at making a movie look more interesting than it really was.
Bruce Willis travels back in time - too far back in time - and is admitted to a mental hospital. All the people there are totally wacky, including Brad Pitt, who begins to get annoying after three minutes. I don't really understand why they chose to have Pitt, who has more to do with the movie than at first glance, be a mental patient, unless it's to express his psychotic nature. However, other movies have made psychotic characters effective without introducing them in a mental hospital.
When he goes back again, it is in 1996 (after taking a quick stop at World War I), and that is where the rest of the movie takes place. Madeline Stowe's character becomes more important than earlier and ends up being the best character out of the movie: smart, beautiful, but a little helpless. She begins to realize that Willis is telling the truth, so she defies the police and helps him look for The Army of the 12 Monkeys.
Unfortunately - I warn you, this is going to be a spoiler - the 12 Monkeys may be responsible for all the wild animals in the city, but apparently have nothing to do with the virus at all. Worst off, I don't know if Willis even accomplished anything by the time the movie was over. The ending was interesting but definitely not something I expected; it was rather disappointing.
And the little carnival sound track was incredibly stupid.
12 Monkeys had all the potential in the world but no more than ten minutes of it deserves recognition.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.