Director: Duncan Jones
Writer: Ben Ripley
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright. Michael Arden
RANT: While all of the kids and their mothers (or fathers) are cranking up the opening weekend grosses, taking in over double the nearest competitor, I decided to take in another underdog film, Source Code. I found the non kid demographics there!
SYNOPSIS: A captain in the Air Force finds himself in the body of another man as part of a mission to find a bomber on a Chicago commuter train.
Relative newcomer director Duncan Jones finds himself in front of a script from another relative newcomer writer Ben Ripley with his departure material for Source Code. Known for straight-to-video films Species III and Species: The Awakening, Ripley surprises with Source Code. Duncan Jones, director and writer of 2009's Moon with Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey, brings a freshness and thoughtfulness to a story that could have been a 12 Monkeys reject.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Captain Colter Stevens, a man who finds himself in the body of a man on a Chicago commuter train. Sitting across from him is Michelle Monaghan as Christina Warren, apparently a friend of the man who Capt. Stevens finds himself trapped in. Eight minutes later, the train explodes from a bombing... and Capt. Stevens finds himself trapped in a capsule with only a video monitor with Capt. Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) instructing him to remember his current mission to identify a bomber. Stevens mission is to find the bomber before the bomber detonates a second dirty bomb in the heart of Chicago later in the day.
The film is an interesting concept with the hearts of 12 Monkeys and Groundhog's Day, combining the action thriller of Capt. Stevens trying to solve the mystery of the bomber's identity and prevent the deaths of millions of Chicago residents, and the recurring attempts to do so eight minutes at a time before dying in the bomb blast.
Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga are perfectly cast, bringing heart into the tale. Gyllenhaal conveys the confusion of a man out of time and body and the valor of a dedicated unsung military hero doing anything to save lives. Monaghan, although more of a foil to begin with as Stevens relives the same eight minutes, quickly expands into a true tangible interest that Stevens and the audience cares about. Finally, Farmiga's Goodwin is both mission driven and human compassionate. Rounding out the main cast is Jeffrey Wright as Dr. Rutledge, the inventor of the Source Code that Stevens finds himself in.
Source Code is a well-paced, duel-point thriller. The film focuses on the mission and Stevens ability to complete the mission parameters to save millions; all the while trying to find a way to go beyond the mission to save the commuter train passengers and, more importantly, Christina.
I enjoyed the ride, the characters and the code.
WORTH: Matinee or DVD