Sunday, May 08, 2011

Movie Review: Source Code

Duncan Jones's (Moon) superb Source Code presents us with another intelligent sci-fi (Inception is the other recent one I'm thinking of) which bodes well for the genre.

A soldier (Jake Gyllanhaal) wakes up on a train not knowing anyone and not knowing how he got there. There's a woman sitting opposite him who knows him - but he's not who she says he is. And when he visits the bathroom to look in the mirror, the image staring back at him is not him! In the middle of his disorientation a bomb explodes and the train is blown to pieces. Instead of dying, he finds himself inside a capsule and discovers that he is part of a mission to catch a terrorist who has already blown up the train he is traveling on - somehow he's been transported back in time to minutes before the explosion. He experiences the same 8 minutes over and over again, including the explosion, until he is able to find out who the terrorist is in order to prevent another impending disaster.

Source Code is a very intelligent piece of sci-fi. Gyllenhaal plays the part of the soldier in a way that makes his character very human and conveys the anxiety inherent in his situation with his usual sensitivity. The other performers don't measure up to his skill, but the plot carries us along so that we don't worry about the mechanics of the film - it is fast paced and totally absorbing.

And it's intelligent! I won't give any more of the plot away except to say that the story touches on all sorts of philosophical themes - the nature of life and death, the nature of time and reality, and the ethics of science that occurs on people who may not be able to give their consent - for example on their body after they die.

Source Code is a refreshing movie that confirms the talents of director Duncan Jones. Source Code is more accessible than the very good Moon. Do everything you can to see Source Code.

Positive Review
'Director Duncan Jones achieves a strange and winning amalgam, a gripping action film that also works as poetry.' - Mick LaSalle/San Francisco Chronicle
Negative Review
'Somewhere under all that bloat is the greatest short subject of all time.' - Elvis Mitchell/Movieline
Content Advice
some violence including disturbing images, and for language.
AUS: M15+
USA: PG-13

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