To some, lumping Terry Gilliam’s 1995 time travel thriller 12 Monkeys with the aforementioned breed of movie will be nothing short of heresy.
But they’re not widely regarded as classics, they don’t inspire passionate debate and they don’t pop up on Top Ten lists.In this iteration, a plague that first appeared in 2017 has, by 2045, wiped out over 7 billion citizens and left the world in the time-honoured post-apocalyptic hands of a few ragtag survivors and hordes of murderous scavengers. In the first episode we saw Stanford’s James Cole selected by an underground cabal of scientists to be injected with a serum that caused him to, in their words, splinter – that is, to travel through time without falling victim to paradoxes – and then catapult back to 2015.One man can turn back the hands of time and stamp out the plague before it wipes out the world. Unfortunately, Cole arrived two years early, freaking out virus doctor Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull) who became his unwitting accomplice in his mission to hit the reset switch on humanity.And yet both characters went about their mission with resigned diligence.
Tracking down and killing the one man responsible for starting the plague seems like a simple enough task, but the pair quickly discovered that the plague had many potential fathers in many timelines.
The one moment I was able to dredge up from my barely-there memory of the Terry Gilliam movie was the image of Bruce Willis being moved to tears hearing Otis Redding’s These Arms of Mine play on a car radio.