Source Code

4/5
Source Code is the second feature length directorial effort from Duncan Jones, the man who gave us 2009’s Moon and my personal pick for the best film of that year. The film doesn’t stray to far from what we’ve seen from Jones, this is a sci-fi film with some pretty fantastic ideas and concepts. Unlike Moon though, this film has quite a few characters and more than one location. Still those elements are very minimal and despite that, the film works on many levels. I’ll keep the plot details as simple as possible; I do believe this film is best experienced that way. A man wakes up on a train as a different person, he has 8 minutes to find out all the information he can about a bomb that will blow the train up. I do feel that is the most I can and should reveal, while yes there is more to it than that it is better to see it for yourself.
I must say this, it is refreshing to see something that feels original. This is not a remake nor a sequel or prequel to anything, yes it definitely has ideas and nods to other films but it is something I hadn’t really seen done this way before. The film deals with some very real issues like terrorism, but it explores this interesting way of how it can be dealt with and stopped if our technology were different and more advanced. There are also certain morality issues that get presented and those did stir up some feelings in me as they were probably intended to do. I really liked the script, written by Ben Ripley (previous credits include Species sequels), it was sharp, to the point and it had some compelling characters. The cinematography was really quite impressive, some shots were just so amazing to look at. On the technical side, the film was really on top and it came together really well.

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I was most impressed by Jake Gyllenhaal as Colter Stevens, it seemed as though he’d been in a slew of films that I didn’t have any interest in seeing. I like him as an actor, I have ever since Donnie Darko and I’ve really wanted to see him tackle something different and serious. Source Code really was that for him, he is front and center (his character reminded me a lot of James Cole from 12 Monkeys) for most of this film and he managed to keep things interesting and give the audience someone to get behind. Supporting him were the likes of Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright who all did quite well. Monaghan made for a very lovely sight, as well as forming a very likable character. Farmiga usually delivers and I really liked her in the role of Goodwin. It was a strange role, yet it seemed to fit her and she definitely added a lot to the character. Wright was perfectly strange and quirky and very mysterious as well, I did find a few scenes with him a little on a more cheesy side but over all he did a good job.
Duncan Jones has proven that Moon was not a fluke; he is a smart and competent director. With so little, he can do so much. I do believe this was a great second feature for him. Sci-fi is a genre that he understands, as well as making a thrilling yet subtle film. Whatever he does next I will be there to see, he is someone we should all be keeping our eye on. This was a very strong film, with some great ideas and one that certainly needs its audience to think. Another viewing is definitely in the cards, and I look forward to that revisit.

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