While most people are doing everything short of DIY lobotomies to try to forget about the Coronavirus for five fucking minutes, some of you sick bitches and bastards are actually pulling a Covid double down and binging on plague movies. As my grandmother used to say, "Y'all need Jesus."
Ol' Cinemavenger isn't down with watching airplane disaster movies while flying, shark attack movies while floating in the ocean, or plague movies during a goddam plague. That's why it took me a minute or three after I popped 12 Monkeys in for a rewatch to remember that it is, in fact, a plague movie. It's also a time travel movie, which is where my head was, especially following last week's review of Hot Tub Time Machine.
As soon as that signature squeezebox score kicked in over the opening credits, though, I realized that I didn't mind the $5B-dead-by-la peste part of the flick, because this 1995 sci-fi romp still holds up better than a duct tape bra.
Former flying circus freak Terry "Brazil" Gilliam directed the absolute shit out of this thing, while admittedly going a bit heavy on the Francophile stuff. We get it! The movie is based on a French featurette, but come on man. 12 Monkeys is a baguette, surrender, or mime away from being Paris itself.
It's set far from the City of Lights in the City of Battery-Throwing Brotherly Love, Philadelphia, where the average person's blood is actually 42% cheesesteak. The rest is Yuengling. And it's where the fictional virus starts snuffing out humanity in 1997. Which is why Bruce "Whatchu Talkin' About" Willis has to travel back in time to get a pure sample of the virus so that the propeller heads from the future can finally concoct a cure for it.
12 Monkeys is one of Bruce's "I'm a real actor" movies. He drools, he screams, he looks mournfully off into the distance. He does it all. Then again, so does everyone else. Brad "Logan" Pitt goes full wacko as a lunatic who may or may not have unleashed the apocalyptic plague. Madeleine "More French Shit?" Stowe redeems herself for Bad Girls. Christopher "Does Anyone Know A Good" Plummer and David "Samuel" Morse get in on the actorly goodness as well.
It turns out 12 is exactly the right amount of monkeys . . . for a monkey orgy.
August 7, 2020
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