Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #177 Source Code

In Uncategorized on April 6, 2011 at 1:42 AM

Movie #177 Source Code

(2011, US, d. Duncan Jones)

Source Code is the type of movie that should set the bar for the sci-fi thriller, and I don’t mean to say I expect excellence in every science fiction film (this film was far from that). But rather, modern day action films are just so lacking, that in comparison, Source Code feels like an incredibly touching film. This picture could easily have become a very concept-driven but emotionless film. Rather, it turned out to have some genuinely affecting moments and some actual character development to boot. It also features Jake Gylenhaal’s best performance since Brothers. Duncan Jones makes a very solid sophomore effort – nothing close to the depth or complexity of his debut feature Moon – in this sci-fi actioner that’s well paced, a little mysterious, and quite original. Think Groundhog Day meets Minority Report. The only problem is that the script doesn’t seem to contain any of that complexity. It was simply through the execution of the movie in Jones’ hands did it feel at moments that I was watching something that required more brainpower than the average flick. This is where it begins to fall apart. Oftentimes, I was questioning the logic of the movie (how does the Source Code work? This isn’t really possible. Etc.) that was detracting from the narrative. A smarter screenwriter would have found a way to not get the audience too involved in the science behind it and rather, accept it. This film didn’t do it. Secondly, without giving anything away, the ending was completely undeserved. To steal a line from the critic who said it best:

“The irony of the situation is that it’s the last eight minutes of “Code” – a movie that hinges on eight-minute intervals – that falter.” – Sean O’Connell

But don’t get me wrong. It’s absolutely worth the ticket price.

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  1. I agree that the film’s logic and ending didn’t quite come to fruition, but Jake’s performance and Jones direction keep the film taut and emotionally resonant.

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