Monday, June 13, 2011

Source Code

“Source Code” is the second feature film directed by David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones, following the brilliant “Moon” a couple of years ago. This time Duncan Jones has more money and greater studio expectations behind him, and with this new sci-fi thriller he fully lives up to the expectations.

“Source Code” centres on the American army helicopter pilot Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) who wakes up on a Chicago commuter train in the body of an unknown man. His last memory is flying in Afghanistan, but now he sits opposite the lovely Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan) who obviously thinks he’s a teacher called Sean Fentress. Eight minutes later the train explodes and Stevens finds himself in a space pod where he talks to Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), a woman who is evidently now his commanding officer. Stevens learns that he is part of a government experiment called the Source Code, a program that enables him to cross over into another man's identity in the last eight minutes of his life. Stevens now has to re-live the incident on the commuter train over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind not only the bomb on the train but also bombs that threaten to kill millions in downtown Chicago.

In a way you could say that “Source Code” is a kind of “Groundhog Day” meets Rod Serling, but then again it isn’t. The film asks more of its audience than the average film, it is philosophical, but action packed, too, although the action is more concerned with thinking rather than things exploding. “Source Code” is all about time, identity and multiverses and it gives you plenty of food for thought. I know that the scene where we finally get to see the “real” Colter Stevens is going to haunt me for ages.

I’ll give “Source Code” four out of five stars, although the fourth star goes solely to Duncan Jones. While I sat in the cinema waiting to see the film, he was kind enough to write me on Twitter, saying, “hope you have fun!” Thanks, Duncan, I fully enjoyed it!
Four out of five stars: ****

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