Having made an imperssive debut with 2009’s Moon, Duncan Jones brings us his latest film – Source Code. Working from a really tight script by Ben Ripley, Duncan Jones has crafted a fairly simple yet extremely complex tale of Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhall), an American Airforce helicopter pilot who has been sent into the body of a passenger on a train that is about to explode in 8 minutes to try and discover where the bomb is and who planted the device.
Thanks to a program called ‘Source Code’, he can continuously be sent back time and again to relive the 8 minutes to work out the mystery. This sets up a cat and mouse game that gives him a finite limit to go through train to find who is the bomber. Playing more like a Hitchcock film than a Tony Scott action piece, Source Code has a fantastic plot that keeps you guessing. As Colter gets more adept with the concept of having to repeat the loop to catch the killer, his real personality comes out and as he repeats his mission, he starts to fall in love with Christina (Michelle Monaghan), who only can see what Colter looks like on the outside as his conciousness has been placed into her friend and collegue.
The performances from the three lead actors are what keep this film from seeming repeatative. Jake Gyllenhaal has such a great range as an actor. When he first came onto the scene in Donnie Darko, it seemed that he was a monosyllabic actor with very little range. He has been getting better and better recently with every performance showing how talented he really is. Michelle Monaghan exudes the lovable girl next door persona that she plays so well. It’s hard not to fall for her in the film. Vera Farmiga gives a solid performance and makes us see that behind her uniform, she is a real human with feelings.
There are moments in the film that will challenge you and make you think about subjects that have almost no right to make you think of during a sci-fi/thriller. It’s these moments that really show tho power of this movie and the themes that underplay the story really provide the depth that, being made by lesser filmmakers, would have completely been ignored. Duncan Jones has proven that Moon was not a one off and that he is a talent to watch. Concentrating on substance over style (which there is plenty off as well), he let’s the actors breathe and embody their roles which makes their plight believable and tragic.
To say more would give away too much. It’s a fabulous film with great performances, a complex plot that doesn’t insult your intelligence and let’s you make up your own conclusions without pretentiousness in it’s storytelling. It’s comparible to Inception in it’s themes, but in it’s subtlety makes Inception seem crass and hollow.
I give this film 4 out of 5 Source Code is in cinemas today