Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Totoro's Review Of... "Source Code"

Earlier, I stated that I recently resurrected my "Tuesday Double Feature" movie outings, and as such I finally got around to seeing two films that have been on my radar for a while: this film and "Source Code", starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga & Jeffrey Wright.

Here is my review...


The Story
Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Captain Colter Stevens, a decorated Army helicopter pilot who suddenly wakes up on a commuter train approaching downtown Chicago inhabiting someone else's body. Stevens learns via a trip to the restroom that he is in the body of teacher, Sean Fentress. Also on the train is Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan), who knows Stevens as Fentress. Before he can figure out what's going on, the train blows up, possibly killing everyone aboard.

Steven then wakes up, now strapped inside a capsule at an undisclosed military facility, greeted through a computer screen by Captain Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga). Stevens then learns that he is part of a government project called Source Code, headed by Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright) which allows someone to inhabit another person's body for a short time (in this case, eight minutes). Goodwin then tells Stevens that his mission is to locate the bomb and identify the bomber before he can strike again. So, Stevens is sent back to the train for another eight-minute interval after being told that he cannot stop or fail, lest more people die.

The Review
Based on what I wrote in the previous section, this movie seems like a LOT to digest. But strangely, its Groundhog Day-meets-Die Hard premise has proven to be both interesting and entertaining to see play out. All the principal actors in the cast turn in fine performances (with my customary Scene-Stealer Award presented to Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Rutledge.) The film itself, directed by Duncan Jones (in only his second feature-length directing gig, after Moon) & edited by Paul Hirsch (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back) is taut and well-paced, a crucial part of any action film but especially of THIS film, since it has an added "time-travel" element.

The Verdict
Considering the initial positive response to this film, I had understandably high expectations going into the theater. However, the only weakness that I could see in the film was its ending, which felt too "sunshine & rainbows" for my taste.

Otherwise, I am pleased to report that the film met my expectations, I cannot declare that it will have the same long-term effect as Groundhog Day or Inception, which was my #2 favorite film last year. My initial disappointment aside, I enjoyed the film, and would still recommend it to people based on its premise alone.


~Totoro (Creator, Executive Producer)

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