Source Code Review

“This Film Will Not Please Everyone. Those Who It Does Please However, Will Be Pleased For All The Right Reasons.”

January 29th, 2012

Science fiction movies in recent years have become boring. Not because they are remotely bad, most in general give an excitement that cannot be achieved in any other genre. Most are bad due to the inability to do something bold, something new. When Duncan Jones' directing debut 'Moon' was released, a bold new way of science fiction was introduced to many. That being, science fiction needing only a simple plot line to become engorging for audiences. Rightly deserved, the first film garnered vast amounts of success, both from critics and audience members. This put Duncan Jones on the map in the process. With a bigger budget, his next movie, 'Source Code' has been produced in a way that ups the scale whilst still maintaining the belief of the first film, that of keeping a certain constraint to proceedings.

Written in the same vain as other movies such as 'Deja Vu' and 'Groundhog Day', 'Source Code' holds a narrative that is based on time travel, whilst at the same time being original in the way it shows this science fiction element. The title 'Source Code 'is derived from the machine that the main protagonist, Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is harnessed too. Having the functionality to transfer the mind of Colter into anyone who fits his build, Source code has been produced by the military to aid against terrorism and major threats. The only catch being that it allows only the last 8 minutes of someones life to be replayed over. Within the movie Colter has to enter this mind multiple times in hope of finding what he is looking for. It is a clever system, each time the 8 minutes are entered, new and exciting points are brought out that the plot uses to develop itself, meaning it never gets boring. It is a credit to the actors that this works, as it shows that they have the acting range to differentiate themselves in each re-incarnation that Colter finds. The action in place is intense, and although explosions could be dealt with better, the special effects are put to real good use in moving the plot along.

As well as having a fun and easy to watch science fiction element, the main difference between this film and others is that towards the latter stages of the film it will bring across deep questions to the audience, namely, 'how much is enough?'. It is this element, these questions turn this film into a heavily dramatic narrative movie that will leave the audience with different opinions. It is very well utilized of these questions, which helps make the film appear exciting and meaningful throughout. It is the true stand out element that helps this film distance itself from other Science Fiction films.

Within this movie, Jake Gyllenhaal portrays a character that is obviously close to his own emotions. This is said due to the fact that it fits his acting style and that when compared to his earlier work it is high end acting, up there with his best. He carries the movie perfectly and when the twist comes late on he acts from this in a way that really draws feelings from the audience.

It is nice to have witnessed something that is different to past science fiction films. Source code is definitely this. Duncan Jones has proved once again that he does not wish to produce movies that are similar in aspects to other movies, but that he wants to be original and bring across this originality to all audience members. Source code is such an interesting movie that never should you feel bored from what is being shown. It outlines the fact, in perfect detail, that not all science fiction films have to be based in action sequences or in a certain way, and that drama elements can be incorporated throughout. This is what gives the film true meaning. With a bonkers final sequence that will confuse a lot of people, it is to be noted that this film will not please everyone. Those who it does please however, will be pleased for all the right reasons.


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