Source Code (2011)

May 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Source Code'

Written by Ben Ripley

Directed by Duncan Jones

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright

Jake Gyllenhaal keeps waking up on a train 8 minutes before a bomb blows up on board. He must figure out who the bomber was in order for prevent further attacks, even though it already happened. This is the Source Code. The film is repetitive in a cool way, with Gyllenhaal’s character deciphering another piece of the puzzle each time. The culprit and the attack itself is a bit of a MacGuffin. The film is really about destiny and the time-space continuum.

As the soldier, Gyllenhaal is marvelous. He’s very believable as the capable but soft hearted hero whose main concerns in life are ones of a romantic notion. The film is a romance wrapped in a riddle. Like any good science-fiction, its not so much about the science as it is about the humans inhabiting the science-enhanced world. Michelle Monaghan is adorable in the film as Gyllenhaal’s love interest, a character that’s been written to to be quite bland but extremely sweet and attractive. Vera Farmiga is a more complicated character as Gyllenhaal’ss supervisor, whos supposed to maintain a professional nature, though can’t help but become emotionally involved as Gyllenhaal’s character suffers at the hand of this looping reality called the Source Code. Jefferey Wright is dependable as a curmudgeonly scientist who invented the Source Code and only sees Gyllenhaal as a tool and not a person.

It’s a complicated idea that they don’t entirely pull off convincingly upon the finale, due to a lapse in logic, even by the film’s own made up standards, but the journey is quite entertaining and emotionally fulfilling, with Gyllenhaal bringing a lot of depth to what could have been a square-jawed cookie-cutter action hero. Duncan Jones has brought some of the sci-fi gumption of his over from ‘Moon’ onto this film, that could have been much more spectacle oriented, but manages to be a thinking person’s thriller, I’m sure no doubt thanks to Jones influence.

Not an amazing film or an airtight premise, but at the very least it’s an entirely original concept and story, which is rare in Hollywood and it manages to be highly entertaining and dutifully satisfying and a great kick off to the Spring/Summer blockbuster season!

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