A computer hacker’s goal to discover the reason for human existence continually finds his work interrupted thanks to the Management; this time, they send a teenager and lusty love interest to distract him.
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Things that have already come... Gilliam revisiting Gilliam - and any other Orwellian dystopia - for seemingly the umpteenth time. The bubblegum aesthetic grates and as so often in his works it's a frantic swirl of 'inventive' art direction at the expense of coherence. Whilst never the Emperor's new clothes, it is an over-embroidered thimble of a familiar concept, lacking the hand-crafted feel that lifted Brazil.
Perhaps the most fragile of Gilliam's dystopian triptych. The familiar them of escape from the overload of technology & information, & the attempt to find a peace with yourself, is beautifully realized & often moving. The shallow depiction of women as vague sex objects is disappointing & there doesn't seem to be much organization in terms of narrative, but as a work of visual, creative cinema, the film is astounding.
I don't suppose it's fair to fault Terry Gilliam for getting worse since the 90s when the universe in general has, too. He still has an active visual imagination, and the best jokes are in the art direction, even if TZT finds him satirizing a world he's barely in touch with. The main problem is the script: Big Questions about the Meaning of Life are best pondered in subtext. Here, it's all aloud, shouted and echoing.
My least favorite of the trilogy. There is something visually that I haven't quite digested but doesn't seem to work for me as it did in Brazil. A kind of excessive kitsch ridicule used as an aesthetic satire and put to contrast to the kafkian burocracy. Maybe it's just too narrative, and less about the atmosphere. 12 monkeys does have a great story. And Brazil a great atmosphere. This is a strange hybrid piece.
Gilliam revisits Orwellian bureaucracy but comes up somewhat empty in comparison to 'Brazil' and '12 Monkeys'. The film is certainly never boring to watch but more for its design than its story and performances. Young Melanie Thierry is a special effect onto herself and provides the human element needed while Waltz, Thewlis and the rest sleepwalk. Script wants to be a thinker but its empty at its core. Too bad.