12 Monkeys

Let me just preface this by saying that La Jetee is one of my all time favorite films ever. 12 Monkeys is an abomination and an insult to that film. That speaks more to my love of the former, rather than indicating a dislike of the latter. 12 Monkeys is a great film, it just doesn’t hold a candle to the film it is based on, which is intelligent, thought provoking and beautiful. 12 Monkeys is fun, silly and, whilst it is somewhere on a spectrum aesthetically, it isn’t near the end occupied by beautiful. It’s more in the area of “crammed full of interesting stuff that looks cool”. Some parts are a sort of steam punk wet dream, whilst others are exactly what most of the other films set in near future, but made in the 90s, look like. If you are unfamiliar with the story it is time travel silliness with Bruce “greedy and lazy” Willis and Brad Pitt. Greedy and lazy has to go back in time to sort some shit and it all goes a little wonky. For once, its not the “you changed things in the past” motif which runs through so much time travel sci-fi which is a welcome change, and the story, taken as it is from one of the best films ever, almost holds up, even after intense screwing around with its internal organs. The film works as a good sci-fi flick, it looks good and it has got some great moments. But it has not aged especially well, and watching the film it is based on will really highlight just how bloated the story becomes. Watch it, enjoy it, then watch La Jetee and see how it was supposed to be done.

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