Thursday, February 20, 2014
Released in 1995 Directed by Terry Gilliam
Starring Brad Pitt, Madeline Stowe, and Bruce Willis.
Inspired by an older film "La Jetee", this is one of the most popular Post-Apocalypse (PA) movies of the last twenty years. In the year 2035 Bruce Willis is a convict who gets a chance at redemption. If he just hops in this trusty new time machine and travels to the year 1996, maybe he can find out what has caused the plague that's wiped out most of the human population and driven the survivors underground. If he can stop it, he saves the world and gets a pardon. Of course, time machines aren't exempt from Murphy's Law, and Bruce Willis has never had the best luck with 'plans' to begin with (remember Die Hard?). So the meta-physical wonder sends him back six extra years to 1990, and everyone decides he's a nutjob and locks him up. Great. As if stopping an apocalyptic plague isn't hard enough. Now he's got to get to the right year, and with the help of a sexy doctor (Stowe), follow a trail of clues left by crazy graffiti spraying radicals. Sound fun? See for yourself.
What makes this movie interesting is the journey you take with Bruce Willis as he desperately tries to do his job, while slowly descending into a mental flux, a madness where he can no longer tell which time is now and which then is real. He shows more range in this film than most, his tough guy persona barely keeping him alive through his blundering confusion, blind rage, and sinking apathy. Bradd Pitt plays an erratic looney toon who befriends Willis in the nuthouse, and proceeds to steal every one of his scenes. It's the kind of movie that keeps you going and keeps getting better towards the end, letting you piece together just enough to uphold the suspense as you wait to see everything play out. Well written and well cast, it's popular for a reason.