31. Twelve Monkeys (1995)

Date First Watched: 1/06/2005
Date Last Watched: 3/11/2009
# Viewings: 3+

One of the last times I watched it, we’d recently got surround sound set up and in the first ‘Hey Bob’ scene, it came from the speaker behind me and I just about pooped my pants.

Anyway, although the film can be a little too explain-y at times, I love the disorienting nature of it. It’s very visually Gilliam, and really adds to the disorientation of Cole. It makes everything feel slightly surreal despite taking place in a recognisable time and place. Cole being slightly loopy confused me a bit – was this just because he’s off-balance from the time travel or is it because of the world he’s grown up in? Brad Pitt’s performance is also my favourite Pitt performance and I think he sucks in everything except this and Fight Club. Madeleine Stowe also works well as the ‘straight man’, she keeps the film grounded whilst being surrounded by overly quirky characters; best noticeable when Cole ‘kidnaps’ her and he’s completely oblivious to her being terrified to the point of tears.

The theme music is also pretty cool and adds to the atmosphere. I wish some of it hadn’t been so driven home and left a little thinking room, but I think it still gets away with this by leaving other things to think about, as well as misleading us with many red herrings and not going into total technical detail about certain aspects. I think it’s a great story well-told and I much prefer it to La Jetee, which I don’t mind but I don’t think is really that effective.


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