Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Source Code. A-
Source Code is based on an idea, not a plot. Its story is simple and concise, its ideas complex and the source of the conversation the film provides after it's over. With this film and Moon, Duncan Jones has helped bring Science Fiction back to life. While Hollywood has turned sci-fi into an excuse for action, Jones has restored it back to what made it relevant to begin with. While Moon was a little more pure in its story, setting, and performances, Source Code still possesses the quality of not having the need to pander towards the needs of mindless, impatient audience members. For a big budget thriller, the movie tells its story with surprisingly little compromise. Jake Gyllenhaal's performance is the one that Jones desired, not that the studio desired. Gyllenhaal drives the movie as a soldier with a mission to find a bomb on a train headed for Chicago. Using an advanced technology called source code, Gyllenhaal can relive 8 minutes on the train over and over until he finds the bomb and the bomber. To reveal more about the movie would be to cheat those who have yet to see the film. I loved Source Code because it follows a pattern that some really great sci-fi movies of the past did as well. It spends enough time in the real world to not feel like Science Fiction at all. Remember The Day the Earth Stood Still and how normal the movie seemed? There is much of that here, too. A good deal of it takes place on a train with real people, not aliens or other strange creatures. It uses the sci-fi sparingly enough that it never feels like its trying to be a great piece of Science Fiction (if there's a fault to Moon it's just that). Source Code raises moral questions with its use of the theory of quantum mechanics. These questions are at the heart of this razor sharp thriller, a movie that entertains on the outside and ponders on the inside. There's a lot to dissect here, a lot to love, and a lot of reasons to see it again.