Saturday, April 23, 2011

Movie Review: Source Code

What would you do if you only had a minute left to live?

Source Code is a science fiction mystery thriller film directed by Duncan Jones, written by Ben Ripley, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright.

I won't spoil the plot except to say that the source code turns out to work a lot better than anyone thinks that it will.

Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a decorated army helicopter pilot who finds himself on a mission to locate the maker of a bomb which exploded and destroyed a train headed into Chicago. Stevens is isolated inside a chamber, where Air Force officer Capt. Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) explains to Stevens through a computer screen that he is inside the Source Code, a program that allows him to take over someone's body in his or her last eight minutes of life.

Stevens' mission is to locate the bomb, discover who built it, and report back to Goodwin before the bomber can detonate a second larger bomb, a dirty nuclear device, in downtown Chicago, which could cause the deaths of millions of people. Every time he is sent into the train he awakens as Sean Fentress, a history teacher, sitting across from a woman named Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan). A series of events repeat each time with slight variations while he goes on searching for the terrorist and deepening his relationship with Christina, until the bomb that destroys the train goes off and Stevens (as Fentress) dies, sending him back to the chamber.

There weren't any new movies to see this Saturday afternoon that I hadn't seen before, so I took a shot at Source Code and was glad that I did. The film was well put together with a well developed plot that kept unfolding as the movie progressed. It touches on the possibility of multiple universes, but doesn't get bogged down in the concept and focuses on the relationships between the characters while the action segment of the film unfolds.

On the LL scale, it gets a SOLID 8 out of a possible 10. A film has to work hard for an 8 from me and this one deserved it.

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