Friday, April 1, 2011

Movie Review: Source Code

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Lots of choices this weekend. With Easter less than a month away the guys who brought us Despicable Me bring us the animated Hop. The next generation of Easter bunny who decides he doesn't want to carry on the family business. Maybe. What about a comatose child being attacked and taken over by evil spirits in Insidious? Got something better? What about a science fiction action thriller with elements from Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. This one sounds like a winner in the movie Source Code.

Source Code Movie Poster
Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) finds himself in the seat where the same eight minutes is being repeated over and over again. Unknown to him is that he is now part of the Source Code program that puts him into the body of another man aboard a doomed train that explodes. During those eight minutes he needs to find the person who bombed the train so that he can be stopped from setting off another larger and more dangerous bomb in Chicago.

Stevens finds himself extracting more details with each attempt with the guidance of mission controller Goodwin (Vera Farmiga). The problem is that Stevens has no idea how he ended up in this assignment in the first place and time is running short to prevent the second bomb's detonation. It's a race against the clock in eight minute increments. The same time span of eight minutes, but each a little different from the previous.

We see the rabbit hole. We're pulled in and then popped out. The explanation given of Source Code by its inventor Dr Ruteledge (Jeffrey Wright) is pretty straight forward and understandable within the confines of quantum physics and quantum mechanics. Can Stevens handle the constant repetition of those eight minutes? Can he save the lives of millions of people including trainmate Christina (Michelle Monaghan) who he's falling for? It's a wild premise that kept me glued to my seat the entire time.

For only his third time around, director Duncan Jones had the movie run for a very tight 93 minutes. Due to some violence including disturbing images of a train filled with passengers repeatedly blowing up and language, the film was rated PG-13. While I don't think it will open in the top spot because of the animated bunny during the Easter season, I believe this one has staying power for the longer haul and worthy of a look.

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