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Source Code

Source Code

What he said:

He

I wasn’t really that interested in this one at first. The trailer didn’t do much for me. It’s not that I thought it looked bad, it’s just that nothing about it stood out to me.

However, a couple of things happened that grabbed my interest. First, this movie – at least in my opinion – quietly built up quite a bit of success.  It didn’t strike me as anything all that special, but when it came out I start to see some good reports coming in. Next thing I know, it actually had a 92% at Rotten Tomatoes.  That’s pretty freaking impressive.

The other thing that jumped out at me was the director, Duncan Jones. You may not know who he is, but directed the criminally underrated sci fi movie Moon. Seriously, if you haven’t seen that movie, go check it out. It’s very subtle and carefully paced, but it’s an excellent film.

Oh and he’s also David Bowie’s son (random trivial tidbit for ya).

Anyways, Source Code is part Quantum Leap and part Total Recall. After those two movies got together and had a baby, that movie met up with Groundhog Day and Source Code was born. It’s the story of Captain Coulter Stevens; who is having something of a bad day. He wakes up on a train and is a total loss for his surroundings.  He doesn’t recognize anyone or anything around him and even worse, is apparently stuck inside somebody else’s body (I hate it when that happens). It gets worse. Next thing he knows, the train blows up and he wakes up in a dark, cold, quiet place.

Apparently he’s been recruited as a part of some secret military time travel experiment and his mission is to stop the explosion. Each time he fails, he’s sent back to try again. His sole mission is to find the identity of the bomber and report it back to his superiors. *Minor potential spoiler* Notice I didn’t say disarm the bomb or save the passengers. Coulter (Jake Gyllenhaal) certainly notices and it doesn’t set well with him, especially the more he encounters Christina Warren (Michele Monaghan). She’s the person who’s riding along with the person whose body Coulter is currently in possession of. This – amongst other things – begins to make Coulter suspicious. He becomes paranoid and distrustful of superiors, though still focused on completing the mission at hand.

This movie is a nice little science fiction thriller. It had all the elements of both genres and spliced them together nicely. I only had two little complaints about it.

First, I felt it could have been a little longer. I know the movie is supposed to have a fast pace, but it could have benefited from a little more a slightly longer run time. You are supposed to feel frantic because of the fact that the movie’s plot involves stopping a bomb, but it comes off slightly rushed at times.

The other thing I have to nitpick is the acting. There were a few characters that could have been a little better. This movie’s got some heart. There’s some nice emotional stuff going on here at times, however a few of the performance almost killed that at times. Jeffery Wright was a little goofy at times and Michal Arden was a pretty robotic. It was distracting and almost took me out of the movie at times, in what was otherwise a pretty darn good movie.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on November 14, 2011.

What she said:

She

I’m not sure what’s sexier, Jake Gyllenhaal, or the movie itself.  Source Code is full of explosions, sideways glances, and a ruggedly handsome Gyllenhaal fighting for love and saving loves.  It seems to be an Inception rip-off that wants to look and feel super cool.  While I know many loved this movie, it just didn’t do too much for me.

Here’s the basic background.  Gyllenhaal is an ex-soldier who has been selected by the government for an experiment where he can enter someone else’s body for the last 8 minutes of their life.  In particular, he enters the body of some guy who died in a train explosion caused by a terrorist.  As fatiguing as it is, he has to do it over and over to glean some information on how the attack was carried out so that the U.S. can stop any further and imminent attacks.  And he literally does this over…and over…and over.  While he’s saving America, he also falls in love with a fellow passenger on the train.  Must be one of those “love at first sight” things.  Can Gyllenhaal unravel the origin of the train explosion, make a positive ID on the perpetrator, and relay that information to government officials before it’s too late?

Despite the explosions and romance, I got bored of this movie in the first 15 minutes.  It was a lot of the same over and over.  I also found it too predictable.  I thought the premise was pretty cool, a fun sci-fi theme, but the execution was too formulaic for my taste.  I’m kind of over the Gyllenhaal thing, too.  He’s a good actor, I know, but I think the hype is overrated.  I guess I lost respect when his bronzed and chiseled body took on that flop, Prince of Persia.  In Source Code, I think there were moments where he over did it.  I also did not think the movie was as mysterious or philosophical as others have commented.  I thought it was pretty straight forward.  I guess where others found mystery, I just found frustration confusion. 

This is one that I might take the time to watch again when it’s on TV, for free.  Perhaps I’d feel differently about it after a second viewing.  But after my first time through, I have to say…

Thumbs only 25 percent up.

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