Monday, June 08, 2015

36: 12 Monkeys

I do need to declare some degree of bias here: the fact that this is a Terry Gilliam movie does give it added points. Frankly Gilliam could make a film about painting a wall in grey and beige and I'd watch it. Not that 12 Monkeys wouldn't have made the list without it being a Terry Gilliam film, but there would be at least a chance that I'd simply have passed it by and never watched it.

That said, once you get into it you do forget that it's Terry Gilliam, at least the first couple of times through. This is because not only is the cast list absolutely first-rate - Bruce Willis was NOT the first choice for this role, I understand, but frankly can you imagine anyone else doing it (least of all Nick Nolte)? Bruce Willis has this way of doing 'action hero' without making it totally unbelievable that he has vulnerabilities, a subtlety to his acting that many of his peers simply don't have. And then the story, the story...

The thing is, you really don't know where it's going next, but somehow when it does go all over the place (and it does: first world war, really?) you are able to follow it and just go with it, however crazy it may seem. And by the end you've seen the loose ends pretty much all tied up, along with a good prototype of the paradoxical time-loop plot thing that Steven Moffat likes to use in Doctor Who every week (where something causes itself). And at the end you breathe, and think 'wow, that was a journey but we made it' and the slightly ambiguous ending gives you hope without letting you know that everything is totally resolved and the virus is going to be stopped.

Thoroughly enjoyable, re-watchable and with enough twists and turns to keep everyone interested without being able to predict what's going to happen. And bonus Gilliam points as well.

No comments: