Today: July 20, 2024

Twelve Monkeys

It may be that a film about a pandemic is the last thing any of us need right now, but don’t let that put you off. 

Twelve Monkeys is a great watch. It looks fabulous of course—as all Terry Gilliam films do—but where Gilliam really raises the bar is in squeezing some stand-out performances from actors who, recently at least, have relied more on their celebrity status than acting skills. 

In fact, Bruce Willis apparently took a pay cut for the chance to work with Gilliam. And Gilliam even gave Willis a list of ‘Bruce Willis acting clichés’ to avoid!

Brad Pitt—fresh from success with Interview With A Vampire, Legends Of The Fall, and Seven— manages to channel his inner Jim Carrey with a nervous, rapid-fire delivery that won him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Between the past and the future, sanity and madness, dreams and reality, lies the mystery of the Twelve Monkeys.. the year is 2035 and humankind subsists in a desolate netherworld following the eradication of 99% of the Earth’s population, in a holocaust that makes the planet’s surface uninhabitable and mankind’s destiny uncertain.

Inspired by Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetée, despite its downbeat subject matter, Twelve Monkeys reminds us of the important things—life, love, and that all important, ‘one last chance’. What’s more it’s one of the rare time-travel films that actually makes sense, with a plot that hangs together right up to the film’s final moments.

Feature length documentary The Hamster Factor and Other Tales of Twelve Monkeys. The Strictly Limited Edition contains a Twelve Monkeys’ pandemic face mask.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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