12 Monkeys is a cerebral scifi drama from SyFy(once known as SciFi) inspired by the second film in the Orwellian triptych known by the same name and released in 1995. The original film won Brad Pitt(Fight Club, Inglorious Bastards) a Golden Globe for his truly remarkable acting in a supporting cast, of course any movie with a lead by Bruce Willis(Die Hard, Die Hard, Die Hard) is bound to be worth a watch. Sadly these tremendous actors have not graced the small screen for this TV interpretation of a classic film. I have watched the original movie several times, mostly in bits and pieces but eventually a few times through. It was awhile before I realized what was going on and I believe it’s meant to be purposefully ambiguous, the story of the movie is disjointed much like pulp fiction it isn’t until the end that you can put the pieces together. My rough understanding of the film is that Bruce Willis plays a time traveler whose method of time travel actually makes him insane, thus making for a shaky credibility throughout the film. The story involves an engineered disease that devastates the world, and our main character travels back in time from a dystopian future to stop it from happening.
This TV adaption is not left without it’s fair share of acting talent, Kirk Acevedo(Fringe) and Aaron Stanford(X-men) are among the excellent cast we have for this show. The TV show has been bothering me though, it seems like things are a bit easier for our new protagonist then I remember. Our main character “James Cole” played by Aaron Stanford does not have that shaky credibility inspired by the madness of time travel working against him. Of course we’re only one episode in so it is quite possible that things can take a turn for the worse, but at this moment I don’t see that happening. They do seem to be taking liberties with this as well, Jeffrey Goines has become Jennifer Goines played by Emily Hampshire which isn’t a huge deal but she has some big shoes to fill if she’s going to contend with Brad Pitt’s performance. We only see her for a few moments in the first episode, but it looks like she’s going to return in the next two at the very least, and what we do see from her is promising.
Over all the show does seem promising, and if you haven’t seen the original movie it shouldn’t be an issue watching the series. It does have a few more special effects then we might remember from the original movie, and the story is obviously going to flow a little differently then you remember. The only thing that I’ve found disappointing is that it just doesn’t feel as dark which is something I miss, but isn’t necessarily a bad thing.