Source Code

Source Code

(M) Jake Gyllehaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga

It may be too early to call it, but Source Code could be this year’s Inception.

Set around similar parameters (the movie is set inside the mind of its protagonist) Source Code is a mind-bending trip from the director of Moon (Duncan Jones).

It’s no surprise Jones was picked to direct this excellent Hitchcockian thriller. Moon was essentially a lone grunt going about his business for a faceless corporation and it also contained a game-changing twist that made you re-think the whole movie.

Source Code’s lone grunt is decorated Blackhawk helicopter pilot Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) who awakens on a speeding commuter train with no idea how he got there. Seated across from him is Christina (Michelle Monaghan) a woman he doesn’t know but who clearly believes she knows him. Seeking refuge in the bathroom, he’s shocked to see another man’s reflection in the mirror and ID cards in his wallet belonging to school teacher Sean Fentress.

It may be too early to call it, but Source Code could be this year’s Inception.

Suddenly a massive explosion rips through the train.

Almost instantly, Colter is transported to a high-tech isolation unit where a Sergeant Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) demands to know everything he saw.

Colter has been on a high-priority mission to identify a bomber who destroyed a train just hours earlier and who plans to kill thousands more with a much larger explosion in the heart of Chicago.

Through lines of questioning about what he saw and repeated visits to the last eight minutes of school teacher Sean Fentress’ demise Goodwin tells Colter about his mission code-named “beleaguered castle”: to find the person who blew up the train he’s on.

Each trip back reveals more and more about the bomber and the bomb itself. But as Colter keeps traveling back he is also learning about how and why he is undertaking this mission. With each visit Colter becomes more convinced that he can prevent the deadly blast from ever happening and save the people on the train.

Intricately plotted and visually inventive with a lot of sly wit (“beleaguered castle” refers to a form of Solitaire and fans of Moon should listen for Christina’s mobile ring tone). Source Code takes audiences into a carefully plotted narrative (written by Ben Ripley) that at its core belies a simple love story.

The principals act superbly and Gyllenhaal and Monaghan make you care about the outcome which is important in a film where suspension of disbelief is paramount.

Although there are some third act moral dilemmas that the film doesn’t bother to explain this is a small price to pay for such an entertaining and thought provoking film.

This clever thriller plays with the question: if you could live periods of your life again, how would you live them differently?

Like Inception, this is high concept, original storytelling that is worth the price of admission.

Adrian Drayton



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