Critic Consensus: The nonsensical time travel in 12 Monkeys makes it less watchable than its original source material, but the high quality execution and cool characters are top-notch.
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The series beckons with a broader, intriguing look at the future dystopia, with more background on Cole and even a sidekick Ramse (Kirk Acevedo), and with a creepy killer in the present known only as the Slender Man (Tom Noonan).
Intelligent adaptation absent the dark humor, satire -- or horror -- of the original.
If other aspects of the show were more engaging, perhaps this spiral down into confusion and illogic wouldn't matter. Perhaps then we'd want to set our DVRs in the present, in order to watch the show in the future.
If the show can settle in, let its cast play character instead of plot, and work its themes instead of its twists, 12 Monkeys could work.
12 Monkeys, like much classic science fiction, is aiming for our intellect, not our emotions. Genre fans are advised to geek out while the geeking is good.
Audience Reviews for 12 Monkeys: Season 1
Praising its ability to stand on its own as a television show, 12 Monkeys doesn't have much else going on as an adaptation, though you can admire its dedication towards its twists depiste the however tiring approach to time travel.
Based on the Terry Gilliam film, SyFy's 12 Monkeys television series is exciting and full of thrills. In Season 1 a time-traveler from 2043 named James Cole is sent back to 2015 to kill a genetics researcher believed to be behind the release of a virus that wipes out the majority of the human race, but he soon discovers that there's more to the virus' release than he had believed, and begins to work with a virologist named Cassandra Railly in order to track down who creates the virus and where and when it's released. The plot gets quite complicated at times (with up to 2 to 3 time jumps an episode), but by the end of the season it all ties together and makes sense. Additionally, the show makes a number of homages and allusions to the film throughout the episodes. However, some of the casting is weak; particularly Amanda Schull, who doesn't seem right for the role of Cassandra. Still, the over-arcing story is intriguing, and does a good job at building suspense and mystery. And the issues it presents about time travel and the moral qualms that arise about the value of life are quite interesting. The first season of 12 Monkeys is a bit of a rough start, but it shows potential.
The revisionist plot became much more soapy in this TV adaptation of the classic sci-fi film. The plot itself is confusing and failed to engage viewers. But the interesting characters and brilliant acting proved 12 Monkeys to be a worthy watch.
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