Beatz & Lyrics Show

‘Source Code’: A Mindbender That’s Easy To Follow by Nikki Liverpool (Film Review)

Source Code: A Mindbender That’s Easy To Follow by Nikki Liverpool (A Chick Who Digs Flicks)

It was great to watch a film that immediately puts you right into the action. No set up, no
back story, played more like you walked into the middle of a conversation, yet you
donʼt feel like you need to be caught up. Source Code, Jake Gyllenhaalʼs latest in the
time-space continuum trend, introduces us to Colter Stevens, a helicopter pilot in the
Afghanistan conflict. Heʼs on a Chicago commuter train in the middle of a conversation
with an attractive woman, Christina, played by Michelle Monaghan (Gone Baby Gone)
but he needs to be caught up. You get the feeling that this is going to be a sci-fi
Groundhog Day because certain things start to happen and Stevens reacts as though
he were expecting these minor occurrences.

What Stevens learns is that heʼs there to find out who planted on bomb on this train, as
a precursor to an even bigger explosion in the heart of Chicago. This we find out as he
is transported to some sort of apocalyptic pod with only a screen to communicate with
Vera Farmiga (The Departed), a Department of Defense official whoʼs there to gather
information. Who is on the train in the last eight minutes before of the explosion: what it
the comedian? The nervous, middle eastern looking man, who runs into the bathroom,
where Stevens finds the bomb in the ceiling vent? Is it Christina, who almost purrs
when she talks to him? What happened before? As he jumps back and forth,
Gyllenhaal makes the most of the eight minutes every time he goes back, gaining more
information, accusing the wrong person, beating them up, etc. At the end of each
transportation, the commuter train explodes.

Jeffrey Wright (Shaft) plays the head of the DOD source code program, who at first
youʼre not sure if heʼs a villain (he does walk around with a crutch, after all, a la Samuel
in Unbreakable), but is merely a scientist that wants the program to be a
success to prevent any future terrorist attacks. If it means Stevens doesnʼt die as
promised when he finds out who planted the bomb, then itʼs a small price to pay for
saving millions of lives. The promise to die has to do with how Stevensʼs brain is used
to transport back and forth.

Source Code was directed by Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie, who is obviously a
fan of the sci-fi genre. He doesnʼt play for laughs much; he takes his subject matter
very seriously and directs with a confident hand. Itʼs no Inception, but thatʼs a
compliment because youʼre not trying to remember what happened when youʼre trying
to figure out whatʼs happening.

– Nikki Liverpool

Leave a Reply