Thursday, 21 April 2011

Source Code

With all its twist and turnage, I have to admit there were a couple of things about Source Code I didn't fully comprehend. Embarrassing, yes. I just hope, dear reader, that you’ll still trust me. That doesn't mean it wasn't an enjoyable watch. It was. In fact, it was superb. Ben Ripley's smart script provides spills and thrills and brain aches. At least for this dunce. OK, here comes the science bit...

Helicopter pilot Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is on a different kind of reconnaissance mission. He must glean intelligence as to the whereabouts of a bomb (and bomber) on a commuter train heading into Chicago. He is repeatedly transplanted into another person's body for the last eight minutes of their life - a man who died on said train. This is not time travel, this is an alternate reality. 

It's at turns funny and freaky. Gyllenhaal is adept at the comedy and convinces as freaked out. Duncan Jones’ follow up to instant cult classic, Moon is impressive. Especially bearing in mind it's only his second feature. It's definitely in the bigger leagues. The great thing is that it doesn't get too big. While the gravitas of the situation is large, the film microscopes in on a moment in time, with the action mostly confined to the train. It’s so much better to see something done smaller but tighter (as opposed to big and well, baggy). And tight this most definitely is. Hollywood take note.

On a few message boards, there have been some fun comparisons made with Groundhog Day. The most obvious relation for me, however, is Quantum Leap and in game acknowledgement of this, Scott Bakula cameos. Albeit very discreetly. Notable mention must also go to Vera Farmiga (probably best known for Up in the Air) who plays Stevens' savvy contact at base. 

Source Code shocks, surprises, and keeps you on your toes. And I need to see it again.

1 comment:

  1. Although they all vary in overall impact, this film along with 'Inception' and 'The Adjustment Bureau' show that big ideas are alive and well and being backed by decent budgets. The key to all three is that they involve sci-fi narratives that are large in scope, full of ideas but all focus on the characters rather than the idea itself.

    A really good film, really well reviewed here filmchild.

    I want to see Jeffrey Wrights slightly loopy scientist in his own spin-off film