April 15th, 2010
Directed by Duncan Jones | Runtime: 1hr 35 mins
Reviewed by Dan Collacott
Duncan Jones debut film Moon was a completely refreshing and unexpected slice of old school science fiction. His follow up Source Code is another high concept science fiction film except this time Jones has a big budget to play with.
Captain Colter Stevens is a soldier who wakes up in another man’s body aboard a Chicago train eight minutes from destruction. Each eight minutes is replayed over and over - as Steven's is given multiple opportunities to work out who he is, why he is there and to try and prevent further bombs from being set off.
I won't run into spoilers about how that situation arises and who is controlling him, but suffice to say he develops a connection and empathy with the woman who is with him in those final minutes (Michelle Monaghan). Stevens tries several times to deviate from the mission at hand and repeatedly questions the situation he finds himself in.
The film's premise is compelling enough and the tension builds fast as the movie unravels like a tightly wound coil; my only issue is the story is pretty limited and peaks around halfway through. Once the lid has been lifted on just what is happening to Stevens the film limps towards the final twist, which is fairly obvious as twists go but though still has enough ambiguity to maintain some intrigue.
The film has been likened to 'Inception meets Ground Hog Day' and I guess that is as good a comparison as you will get, it certainly feels more accurate than the 'Bourne meets Inception' tag line peddled out for the disappointing Adjustment Bureau.
Even though Source Code has been speculated as being purely a means for director Jones to raise the funds to bring another of his own scripts to the screen (the Bladerunner inspired Mute) it still has a Moon-esque feel to it, for one the male leads in both films (Gyllenhaal and Rockwell) are likable tragic heroes who somehow distort and turn their respective situations on there head.
Source Code is by no means a classic but it is still well worth seeing and certainly can't harm the reputation of its director and cast.