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Just saw 12 Monkeys for the first time - Question on ending

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Just saw 12 Monkeys for the first time - Question on ending

Old 04-09-06, 10:10 PM
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Just saw 12 Monkeys for the first time - Question on ending

I just finished watching this movie on TV and the ending got TOTALLY fucked for me cause of some distractions. Im pissed as hell becuase I saw the part when Morse (red head) sits on the plane and talks to that chick who was one of the group that sent Willis back in time but I missed their whole exchange.

What the hell happened?
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Old 04-09-06, 10:18 PM
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Ok.

Basically Bruce Willis was the adult that the child seen in the opening (and several flashbacks) that shot in the airport. He and Madeline Stowe were incognito because they wanted to escape to Key West. They had to do this because he ripped out his tracking device and was getting increasingly unreliable in his mission due to the affects of time travel.

Ironically, however the entire thing was Willis' fault. When he was accidentally sent to 1991 he planted the seed of the Army of the 12 Monkeys in Brad Pitt's deranged mind. Pitt's rich father then got him out of the sanitarium, so he tried to do what Willis said he was trying to stop. Pitt's "army" eventually releases all the animals and this causes enough of a disruption that Morse was able to steal the viruses that are eventually released into the world. When he is talking to the woman on the plane, he remarks how humanity is the new endangered species.

The movie is about ultimately being unable to change the future, because in doing so we cause it.
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Old 04-09-06, 10:36 PM
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Ahhhh Interesting. I actually got confused with the part with the father. So the father was actually making the virus to kill mankind? I thought maybe Morse did it alone and made his move than. I missed the part where it was said he stole the virus.

And that woman Morse talks to at the end was just a coincidence that it was the same that sent willis through time? I though I missed something like she was involved the whole time and it was all meant to get Willis to spread the idea of the virus.
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Old 04-09-06, 10:41 PM
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By having the female doctor from the future on the plane at the end, it showed that bruce DID in fact end up saving the world. His message did get thru to the doctors in the future, and she was there to intercept the case carrying the disease. It's an uplifting ending in that perspective. I was always bummed out, but when i listened to the commentary, that's what the director/writer had in mind.
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Old 04-09-06, 10:42 PM
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This movie represents my favorite theory of time travel. And that is, if you go back in time, that means you've always existed in the past and what you do there is something that already happened. In my opinion, this is the only possibility that could make time travel make sense.
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Old 04-09-06, 10:47 PM
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Yup, I love the cycle of it all. The child that saw Bruce Willis die will eventually grow up to become Bruce Willis and be killed in front of a child who will eventually grow up to become Bruce Willis and be killed in front of a child who will...etc.

-JP
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Old 04-09-06, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by slavetotherave
This movie represents my favorite theory of time travel. And that is, if you go back in time, that means you've always existed in the past and what you do there is something that already happened. In my opinion, this is the only possibility that could make time travel make sense.
yeah i love time travel to and it's one of the big ideas have for a script. i personally believe time travel backwards is impossible because it will cause a paradox, but it is always fun to discuss.
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Old 04-09-06, 11:22 PM
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not according to this guy...

http://timetraveler.ytmnd.com/
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Old 04-09-06, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Rip
His message did get thru to the doctors in the future, and she was there to intercept the case carrying the disease.
It's been awhile since I've seen the movie, but wasn't the point of the female scientist going back to the past not to actually intercept the case (and stop the plague), but to get a sample of the virus in it's initial stage (before it mutates) in order to create a cure for the people in the future?
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Old 04-10-06, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Ravenous
Ahhhh Interesting. I actually got confused with the part with the father. So the father was actually making the virus to kill mankind? I thought maybe Morse did it alone and made his move than. I missed the part where it was said he stole the virus.

And that woman Morse talks to at the end was just a coincidence that it was the same that sent willis through time? I though I missed something like she was involved the whole time and it was all meant to get Willis to spread the idea of the virus.
I am a little fuzzy on the details, but that is how I remember it. It could be that he produced it rather than stole it. The point is that Pitt's "army" acts as a red herring for both Willis and the police in 1996. Because of this, the man is able to travel around with the viruses.

It was always my opinion that the woman on the plane was just a coincedence. Willis never told her to get on the plane so I am not sure how he could have succeeded in that respect. But, as I said I have not seen the movie in a while so I am a little fuzzy.
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Old 04-10-06, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by greydt
It's been awhile since I've seen the movie, but wasn't the point of the female scientist going back to the past not to actually intercept the case (and stop the plague), but to get a sample of the virus in it's initial stage (before it mutates) in order to create a cure for the people in the future?
Exactly, she was saving the people of her time. Willis was unable to change the past, but he did help get a cure for the future.
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Old 04-10-06, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by NatrlBornThrllr
Yup, I love the cycle of it all. The child that saw Bruce Willis die will eventually grow up to become Bruce Willis and be killed in front of a child who will eventually grow up to become Bruce Willis and be killed in front of a child who will...etc.

-JP
Me, my ex, and her best friend went to see it on opening night. Her friend was a walking example of a stereotype blonde, and she could not catch on that the dream and the ending showed that it was a cycle of the life of Willis' character. We spent the entire car ride home trying to explain it to her. Really great girl, but just didn't catch on to some things.
This is a great movie though, and probably has one of the best docs on the dvd i've ever seen.
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Old 04-10-06, 12:40 PM
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Id like to add to whats already been said,

1: Bruce Willis' friend from the future (Jose) was the future scientists link to 1996 after Bruce took out his tracking device. It was through Jose that the female doctor was finally able to contact the real viral terrorist. Her words were (after asking what she does) "Im in...INSURANCE".

2. I DONT think though, that there is a happy ending. There seems to be NO way for someone to bring a virus sample back to the future. You have to be naked. Im wondering if perhaps the doctor is there to make some kind of deal with the terrorist. Something shady might be going on.
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Old 04-10-06, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by paradicelost
Me, my ex, and her best friend went to see it on opening night. Her friend was a walking example of a stereotype blonde, and she could not catch on that the dream and the ending showed that it was a cycle of the life of Willis' character. We spent the entire car ride home trying to explain it to her. Really great girl, but just didn't catch on to some things.
This is a great movie though, and probably has one of the best docs on the dvd i've ever seen.


I love watching movies with people like that. "Wait, what just happened?" "The cop bought a fucking cup of coffee. GOD!"

-JP
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Old 04-10-06, 01:51 PM
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Thinking about it, shouldnt the women on the plane BEEN the chick from the future? I dont think they gave a year but I remember Jose saying it was 30 years in the future they were sent from. Since the chick looked exactley the same, it had to be her there to get a sample or something.
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Old 04-10-06, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Save Ferris
Id like to add to whats already been said,

2. I DONT think though, that there is a happy ending. There seems to be NO way for someone to bring a virus sample back to the future. You have to be naked. Im wondering if perhaps the doctor is there to make some kind of deal with the terrorist. Something shady might be going on.
There would be plenty of ways to get the virus sample back to the future. One would be to put the virus in a safety deposit box of a bank that you know remains intact after the disease hits and the subsequent looting and destruction.
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Old 04-10-06, 04:38 PM
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But a virus wouldnt live that long.
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Old 04-10-06, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnysd
There would be plenty of ways to get the virus sample back to the future. One would be to put the virus in a safety deposit box of a bank that you know remains intact after the disease hits and the subsequent looting and destruction.
Considering their use of the answering machine, that's a distinct possibility. Another possibility, albeit an extremely grim one, would be for the future scientist to get herself infected with the virus, then bring it back with it inside her body. Since she'd be one step away from patient zero, the virus would be unmutated. In fact, she probably was infected on the plane, since the lab assistant had already released the virus.
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Old 04-10-06, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by NatrlBornThrllr


I love watching movies with people like that. "Wait, what just happened?" "The cop bought a fucking cup of coffee. GOD!"

-JP
granted, this was the cop.

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Old 04-12-06, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
Exactly, she was saving the people of her time. Willis was unable to change the past, but he did help get a cure for the future.
Just wanted to add that there was a scene earlier in the movie where the female scientist was saying that if they had a copy of the virus they could develop a cure (or something like that). Then the last scene was her sitting next to the guy with the pure virus, so yes, I saw it as a happy ending and the world wasn't destroyed by a virus.
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Old 04-12-06, 09:45 AM
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You absolutely cannot have "the world was never destroyed by the virus ending." It doesn't work. At the most, the female scientist would be trying to get a sample of it, not trying to stop it.

If the virus was stopped, then the world wouldn't have been ruined. People wouldn't have had to go underground and they would have had no reason to send people back in time and do the things they did. Therefore, everything that they accomplished doing in the past would not have happened, which means that she never would have gone back in time to stop the virus, which means the virus would have ravaged the planet, etc etc. It doesn't work.

Who knows, she could have been infected and died in the past. Or perhaps she could have been infected and then pulled back to the future and killed the remaining people hiding out underground. You just don't know, and at that point in the story, it's irrelevant. Whatever the case, nobody can change the outcome of the past because it already happened. The scientist never just popped up on the airplane "this time around." She was always there. And the world was still infected.
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Old 04-12-06, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Brain Stew
The movie is about ultimately being unable to change the future, because in doing so we cause it.
Yep, it's just a never ending loop shown through Bruce Willis' character's repeating lifestory.
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Old 04-12-06, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by slavetotherave
You absolutely cannot have "the world was never destroyed by the virus ending." It doesn't work. At the most, the female scientist would be trying to get a sample of it, not trying to stop it.

If the virus was stopped, then the world wouldn't have been ruined.
It's been a long time since I've seen this, but didn't the security guy at the airport force virus guy to open one of his test tubes to verify it was "empty"? Isn't that how the virus got released? So they clearly didn't stop the virus from destroying the world.
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Old 04-12-06, 11:43 AM
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I'm sure i speak for a few of us here thats reading this topic. The more i read everyones theory on the ending of this movie, the more confuse i get.
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Old 04-12-06, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by roger_d
I'm sure i speak for a few of us here thats reading this topic. The more i read everyones theory on the ending of this movie, the more confuse i get.
It's been awhile, but I think the cliff-notes version of the plot is:

- future is decimated by a virus, and people live underground.
- Bruce Willis is selected for a project that sends people back into the past. The goal: to find out who released the virus. Reason: The scientists believe they can create a cure for the virus finally, but they would need a pure strain of it from the point of origin
- The only lead they have is that "12 Monkeys" might be the one that released the virus
- stuff happens, insane asylum, Brad Pitt, Madeline Stowe, Twelve Monkeys, etc. Bruce Willis realizes in his new get-up at the airport who really releases the virus and calls the number. Dies as per his slightly off original memory as a kid.
- Scientist from beginning of the movie is sitting next to the virus releaser. It's assumed she was sent back in time to do what she needs to do to get the sample of the virus.
- Assumption is that humanity is saved in the future

Now, one might ask "why don't they just send someone to the past to stop the virus entirely?" Not sure if it was covered in the movie, but I'm guessing it can cover everything from them not wanting to wipe out their own existence, create a paradox, to them discovering that they already did certain actions and is limited to sending back people they discovered they already sent back, etc. (their actions are pre-determined by what they already did in the future, aka "the loop" people have mentioned) - the past already happened, and they're just completing the loop.

I think the key to understanding the story is re-watching the "future" scenes, since it has explanations of what Bruce Willis' mission is.
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