"He's a mental patient! He's supposed to act out!"
Psychos everywhere, plague of madness...What's notable about this movie is that it showed that Brad Pitt wasn't just a prettyboy. Oh no. He could act. What's more, this is also the movie that gave just a little bit of insight into the actor that Bruce Willis COULD be. The smirk was gone, man. He was actually acting here.
It's a Terry Gilliam film, so the visuals are striking. There are lots of comparisons to Brazil in Gilliam's vision of the future, where a lethal virus has wiped out 99% of the population and survivors live underground. James Cole (Willis) is sent back in time (too far, as it turns out) to stop the plague. He overshoots his intended year and ends up stuck in a mental hospital where he meets Jeffrey Goines (Pitt), the insane son of the man who may be responsible for the plague.
It's sort of low-rent sci-fi, I guess, and the action is minimal. The strength lies in the performances. Pitt and Willis are outstanding (Pitt won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar), and there are nice turns from Madeline Stowe, David Morse and Christopher Plummer, not to mention a cameo from Frank Gorshin. Frank Gorshin!
As I said earlier, the visuals are amazing. The story is somewhat difficult to follow, what with time travel and loopbacks and at least one of the major characters being crazy, but somehow, it all works.A decent flick, worthy of your attention.