12 Monkeys was a 1995 dystopian sci-fi film directed by Terry Gilliam, starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. The film was a remake of a 1962 film by the French director Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve (better known as Chris Marker), entitled La Jetée. 12 Monkeys borrow much from La Jetée (although director Terry Gilliam may not have even seen the earlier movie … he was brought in after the script had been written).
Set in a distant future, 12 Monkeys saw Bruce Willis in the role of convict protagonist Cole, who is sent into the past by a shady government group with the task of seeking out and stopping the cause of mankind’s current dilemma: a life underground in the dark to escape a worldwide pandemic that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction.
The movie is a little weird, and the score is perfectly fit for its quirkiness. Gilliam brought forth a haunting story that weaved through the amorphous detritus of human perceptions like a fever dream of the borderline psychotic. Bruce Willis is excellent in the lead role and Brad Pitt does the kind of overacting, playing a madman, he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, losing to Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects.