Twelve Monkeys

Corrected entry: Why do the scientists, whom are older than Cole, not remember that the army of 12 monkeys let out the animals? It was on the radio the same morning when Cole and Reilly were in the taxi on their way to the airport. It must have been a pretty significant thing in your memory especially if the death of the human race starts almost immediately after this event. They do not realise this until Cole calls the voicemail and explain the situation 5 minutes before hell brakes loose in the airport. Where were these scientists during this quite spectacular incident? Even Cole must have remembered something about this since he just went home with his parents after the shooting in the airport. The story about the fleeing animals must have been on most of the news networks that day, so why would the grown up Cole not remember this rather important piece of information from his childhood?

Correction: Who's to say that the scientists don't remember it? Why couldn't they have released the animals from the zoo as well as releasing a devastating virus? They sent Cole back to investigate and find out more specific details.

To add to that: Cole doesn't remember these events himself nor anybody else does because right after the animals were released and the incident at the airport the virus starts to spread, taking up all the time on the news and media several days later and starting a really desperate time for all people, trying to survive it all. It's not unlikely people will not remember the time before the virus.


Corrected entry: Twelve Monkeys may be one of the most subtly subversive commentaries on the Catholic Church (or Christianity in general). The themes and images in the movie, from the prophecies to the Doctor's claim that psychiatry is "the new religion" to the Mary and Jesus like pose in the end, suggest an underlying religious message. Consider the fact that Cole was "sent" in order to "save" mankind from death (brought by a charismatic gentleman with red hair, no less), resulting in a future in which the elites of the establishment control the "cure" and determine who will "ascend" to the world above. Other allusions include the "army of the twelve monkeys" (re: twelve Apostles), the word "Chris" on Cole's shirt (only missing one letter), and Cole's visions of his death. (One more: Cole's first name begins with a "J." Think initials.)

Correction: All of this is your opinion, and is a pretty broad misreading of Christian dogma anyway. Christ was not sent to save man from death; theologically speaking death is regarded as the transition to the afterlife, not something to be avoided. Christ was set to redeem our sins, something not even hinted at in 12 Monkeys. Who is the 'charismatic gentleman with red hair' supposed to be? I can find no reference anywhere in the Bible to such a character. Finally, comparing the twelve apostles to plague carrying monkeys isn't something I'd try during a Papal audience. This is just an example of looking for significance that just isn't there.

Corrected entry: Katherine's phone message that is responsible for the hypothesis about the Army of the 12 Monkeys is left as a direct result of her experience with Cole, and at the same time what leads to him being sent back in the first place. Well, if that message is there all along, then why isn't the one Cole left at the airport contradicting it also present from the beginning? It should have created a paradox, as it would have stopped the investigation into the Army before it started, hence the first message would never have been left.

Correction: Both messages are there all the time but one (Coles) was more degraded than the other (Katherines), and the scientists needed more time to work on it.

They do decrypt that message though and send back Jose to give him the gun. So they do know eventually it wasn't the army of the twelve monkeys.


Corrected entry: In the second half of the film James Cole, unrecognisable with all the clothes he's wearing, his face covered - Dr Railly, herself, for the first ten minutes, doesn't know who it is that has kidnapped her and her car - is somehow known to the police. The authorities, her friends, all say it was James Cole who kidnapped her, but they couldn't have, it was impossible. Also, Dr Railly's car was away from everyone at that time - she was leaving the party early, so they could not have known who he was, but they do.


Correction: Shortly after Kathryn is kidnapped there is a short scene where the police are searching her office for clues and gathering info from one of her Secretaries. You can also a recording being played back stating that James was looking for her at her office, asking around trying to locate her. Later there is a TV excerpt at the hotel where she's tied to the bed stating that James was wanted for questioning. After further investigation, and given James' history, its not a stretch for the police to key James as the primary suspect in the kidnapping.

Corrected entry: When Cole is being hosed down in the mental institute, Bruce Willis has a very obvious tan on his arms and body that ends just above his bum. Hard to believe that someone who has lived below ground since he was a child would have a tan line.

Correction: We are never told how many times before this scene where he has been and how many times he has gone back in time. It's quite possible he was somewhere with his shirt off and he got sunburnt.

Corrected entry: The discussion about the bullet recovered from Cole's' leg being an "antique" and fired some time in WW1 does not make sense. Age of a bullet cannot be determined like that, as I have a rifle from 1912 myself, the ammunition for which I own is old ex-military stock of a similar age. If I fired it now, no one would say the bullet was fired in 1912. Also, having moved forward in time with Cole would make the bullet "brand new" looking, it hasn't tarnished for 80 years in the open.

Correction: Forensic and metallurgic analysis could tell if a bullet were an antique even if it hadn't aged because of changes in technology and materials. It's an assumption though that the bullet would not age because Cole did not. He had to travel through time naked so it's possible that time travel has a different effect on inanimate objects like bullets and clothes and that it does on humans.

Corrected entry: When Cole forces the doctor to get in the car, she drops her purse but they still get in the car and drive off. Later on in the film she gets her bag out with the stuff she dropped in it.

Correction: When James gets into the car you can see him pick up the stuff and throw it into the back of the car.

More mistakes in Twelve Monkeys

Jeffrey Goines: ...and if you forget one thing, I will have you shaved, sterilized, and destroyed.

More quotes from Twelve Monkeys

Trivia: Terry Gilliam was almost killed in a horse-riding accident during production of this movie.

More trivia for Twelve Monkeys

Question: Throughout the movie, Bruce willis has a tattoo visible just above his ear. Was this added for the movie or is it real? if it is real, what does it say?

Answer: The tattoo is for the movie. It is his prisoner identification.

More questions & answers from Twelve Monkeys

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