Source Code

Jake Gyllenhaal travels back in time and has 8 minutes to save Chicago from a terrible attack. Source Code is a science-fiction movie that reminds me of Groundhog Day mixed with The Matrix. I’m here to find out whether Source Code is worth your time and money.

On a train to Chicago a man awakens confused to find himself in the body of someone else. Across from him sits his girlfriend, but in reality he hasn’t seen the woman before. However, the man doesn’t have time to unravel the mystery, because 8 minutes later the train explodes.

The man, Colter Stevens, is in reality a soldier who perished in Afghanistan during a scientific operation led by the American government. The operation is dubbed Source Code. The ‘Source Code’ program allows you to take control of someone else’s body during the last 8 minutes of his life. The past can not be altered, but you can go back to it to try and change the future. Maybe, the perfect weapon to fight terrorism (So many movies about terrorism … it’s getting old now). Colter relives the attack again and again, 8 minutes at a time. In these 8 minutes he tries to discover who placed the bomb, and who tries to commit the attack on the city of Chicago.

You’ll find that this is very recognisable if you’ve seen Groundhog Day and The Matrix. Jake Gyllenhaal (known from Prince of Persia and The Day After Tomorrow) who plays Colter Stevens (quite brilliantly I might add) relives the same situation over and over. Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day he is aware of this situation, which allows him to refine his investigation by altering his behaviour to provoke different reaction with the same suspects every time he returns to the train.

The few improbabilities, that are extremely hard to avoid in this kind of movie, are not adequate enough to ruin the film. The repetition of the opening scene has been done quite well, the flashbacks don’t interfere with the story and you never lose track of the storyline. You’ll find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat while you follow Jake Gyllenhaal’s adventure. He’s motivated to find the culprit and, despite the situation, finds the time to make a couple of jokes ánd fall in love with the woman on the train.

However, we regret the epilogue which is too sentimental and honestly quite redundant. Source Code is a complex and intelligent flick, not quite like Inception but still fairly entertaining. A decent movie by Duncan Jones, son of none other than David Bowie

Let us know what you thought of Source Code in the comment section below.

/Gamecultist

Author: Niels Van Hellemont

Hi, my name is Niels and I'm a long time fan of movies, anime, comics, games and whatnot. Could say that I'm a bit of a fanatic when it comes to the above mentioned things. I'm currently studying for a Bachelor After Bachelor in Advanced Business Management - Human Resources Management.

2 thoughts on “Source Code”

  1. Seen it myself, so here’s some thoughts.

    Inception, to me, was a film that showed the industry that big budget, balls to the wall sci-fi films with complex arcs and layers of meaning and themes could be profitable. Perhaps that was partly due to Christopher Nolan directing, and the veritable army of celebrity actors employed for its filming. Perhaps it was because the market was ready for science fiction film of its calibre and complexity. Who can say?

    It is Inception’s success that has ultimately led to a few films coming out recently that hope to imitate its success. Adjustment Bureau was one such film, cribbed from the ever handy ready made collection of science fiction works by Phillip K Dick. Source Code conversely is an original work but it seems to have cribbed a few points from Gregory Beneford’s Timescape novel, which involves an attempt by the scientists of the future to avert an apocalyptic event through tachyons and quantum mechanics.

    I say “cribbed”, but that isn’t to say Source Code has downright stolen anything, rather it seems inspired by such works as Timescape. And it certainly is a good film. It keeps the chief antagonist well hidden and you constantly guessing, although the tension seemed somewhat deflated to me given the fact that Gyllenhal’s character essentially had an infinite number of attempts to find out whodunnit. It’s simply a solid work that’s worth your time.

    My only gripe would be that the last fifteen minutes seems tacked on unnecessarily, like the script was finished with running time to spare, although good use is made of it to expand the Source Code concept further and answer that niggling question: Is it truly possible to alter the past?

    Recommended.

    1. As always, great movies (and books, games, everything) get copied over and over again. It’s no different with Inception. Whereas The Adjustment Bureau didn’t really speak to me, I thought the story was pretty new (to me at least).

      Source Code actually reminds me of a Star Trek: Voyager where Seven of Nine is sent back to the past to prevent a certain event from occuring. The difference between the two is, as you said, that Seven of Nine suffered brain damage from repeated ‘back to the future’ conditions, whereas Source Code doesn’t use any such mechanic. Which does indeed make it a bit ridiculous.

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