By: Jim Weekes
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
When director Duncan Jones came onto the scene in 2009 with his indie hit Moon, people immediately began comparing its originality to 2001: A Space Odyssey and other Science fiction classics. The success was unexpected but well deserved. Moon was an original and suspenseful science fiction thriller about a clone who discovers who he is and breaks the chains that keep him in line. So naturally, after such a successful debut, people are going to be paying extra attention to the anticipated second film. Duncan Jones does not disappoint with Source Code.
The film centers around an army captain named Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) who finds himself in a top secret program (without knowledge of how he came to be there) that allows him to relive the last 8 minutes of a specific person’s life. In this instance Stevens lives through a man on a doomed passenger train. Stevens must continually live vicariously through this man’s final minutes to find the terrorist bomber behind the plot that lead to the death of all the train’s passengers.
This may sound similar to films like Déjà Vu, but Source Code executes this familiar premise far better than Scott’s film. The film has excellent use of editing and shots and everything is put together so well to keep you engaged. Things start to get hectic (in a good way) as the film progresses and just like Moon, the films main twist reveals itself during the middle of the film as opposed to the end.
The only issue with Source Code is that it just doesn’t know when to end. There were so many moments where I was mentally shouting, “CUT TO BLACK!…ROLL CREDITS!” but that moment just never seemed to come at the times it felt most appropriate. Had the film ended 10 minutes earlier, it would still be equally as good, maybe better. It’s a shame because the film tries so hard in its final minutes to complicate itself more than it really is; it’s trying to be an inception when it’s not, and that stinks because its complications don’t even really make that much sense.
In other words, it didn’t quit while it was ahead. I could have left feeling satisfied but instead I left disoriented and heavily confused. I think I even walked into a wall after exiting the theater.
Although the film has its faults, be assured that this film is still leagues ahead of some of the other garbage that comes out these days. It’s definitely a must see if you’re looking for a good/ thought provoking film. It’s no masterpiece but it’s no sophomore slump either. Also, if you haven’t seen Moon, do so now.