Released a year after his performance as a sentimental brawler in Pulp Fiction, this Terry Gilliam flick reminded viewers that despite that wisecracking action-star persona, there was some sort of actor lurking inside Bruce Willis. Ensconced in tunnels underneath Philadelphia and following the devastation of a worldwide plague, James Cole (Willis) is chosen to go back in time to try to stop insane animal-rights activist Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt, in one of his wonderfully manic sideman performances) from releasing a virus. Along the way, he is arrested and assigned to a mental hospital. Despite knowing that he is not made for that time, Cole falls in love with his shrink (Madeleine Stowe). Containing one of the all-time mind-f___ endings, 12 Monkeys is Terry Gilliam at his most accessible and most moving.
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