[Movie Review] Source Code

Everything is going to be ok..”

Duncan Jones hit one out of the park with his first movie entitled Moon, now he returns to the science fiction genre and directs a film that at first I did not want to see or even read the script because it look like it was just new paint on an already run down science fiction staple: Time travel.

Except it’s not.

Or, at least it tries not to be.

The plot of Source Code goes like this: Captain Colter Stevens played convincingly by Jake Gyllenhaal has been recruited for a special project called The Source Code. The Source Code is simple: If your genes match up with someone else then it’s quite possible to shift your consciousness into theirs. But it can only be for eight minutes. Oh, and Colter needs to find the bomber on a train that’s heading into Chicago before the bomb on his train blows up.

The good news is: It only takes one bad trip through the Source Code for Colter to get his bearings since his mind is a bit swish cheesed. I bring up swish cheese because this feels like an updated version of Quantum Leap. Right down to looking in the mirror and seeing someone else’s face. It should also be noted: Scott Bakula plays Colter’s father in a scene or two.

No Gushi, no waiting room in the desert run by a cigar smoking Dean Stockwell instead Colter is aided by charming Goodwin played by Vera Farmiga and to a lesser extent the Source Code’s creator Dr Rutledge played by Jeffrey Wright. Colter’s love interest on the train is Christina played by Michelle Monaghan.

Bit by bit the Source Code’s plot changes until it grows beyond it’s simple concept and everything I just described is completely turned upside down when the truth comes out. But, it’s fun ride overall since Source Code does not get itself into a rut and become a drinking game. The overall groundhog day type of concept of Source Code will remind you of Star Trek The Next Generation’s Cause of Effect Episode but thankfully most of the repeated scenes happen once or twice at the most before Colter tries several different ways to find the bomber, get off the train and save Christina without getting blow up, again.

The movie does not try to be big and loud. Instead, it’s close and quiet until the bomb arrives. There is no big finish there is no Mission Impossible-type of finale, instead it’s a fun movie to watch that does not get stupid in the end because the writer ran out of ideas. The only thing I can say I wish we had more of was the bomber and why he was doing it. Sure, he hates the world but what else? At least the villain in Deja Vu had some hatred for the USA so that just filled in nicely.

One of the many question’s Source Code continues to ask is: Can the past be switched in the here and the now or can it be switched in alt. reality. Personally, I can’t stand parallel universes, it may be DC Comic’s bread and butter and it may look great in Star Trek but it just gets old after a while. Even the latest plot twist in SG:U replacing one Lou Diamond Philips with another left a sour taste in my mind since I actually had to think about it several days later.

The ending raises many questions that aren’t answered. Which is perfectly fine since many times the questions don’t need to be answered. The simple question I had was: I know I just watched the hero do all this stuff but did it happen now, later, or over in dimension 42?

Overall, Source Code was a fun read, it’s nice to leave the theater thinking instead of wincing from the overblown plot and music.

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