Okay, I’ll admit it right now: I’m way too late in reviewing this film. Seriously, if you were planning on seeing The Source Code, then you’ve probably already seen it by this point. You already have your own opinion about the film. Why do you need hear mine? You’re probably saying, “Girl, move on.”
And to that I say: “I do what I want!”
The Source Code is a surprisingly smart and occasionally even moving little sci-fi thriller. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Colt Stevens, an army helicopter pilot who, as the film begins, awakens to find himself on a commuter train with no idea who he is or how he got there. The woman sitting across from him (played by Michelle Monaghan) seems to know he is. The confused Gyllenhaal wanders around the train trying to figure out who he is. He goes into the train’s restroom, looks in the mirror, and sees a stranger staring back at him. And then the entire train blows up.
Suddenly, Gyllenhaal wakes up again. He’s apparently trapped in a dark chamber with his only link to the outside world being a computer screen. An army officer (Vera Farminga) appears on the screen and explains to him that he was sent into the past in order to find out who bombed the train. And he will continually be sent back into the past to relive the few minutes before the bomb goes off. He’s told that the past cannot be changed, the people on the train cannot be saved, and his only mission is to discover who planted the bomb.
It’s a clever little plot (one that would do Philip K. Dick proud) that has a lot more twists and turns than is obvious from a simple recap. Along with a smart script, the film has a cast who bring a lot of conviction and nuance to their roles. Jake Gyllenhaal, in particular, redeems himself after his unfortunate work in Love and Other Drugs. However, the film’s real hero is director Duncan Jones who gives The Source Code both a heart and a brain. His work here confirms that talent that was evident in Moon and I’m looking forward to what he gives us next.