Source Code

May 15, 2011 at 12:45 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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I went to see Source Code the other day – curious to see how it would handle the central “ground hog day” premise.

Jake Gyllenhaal is Captain Colter Stevens, a US helicopter pilot ‘in Afghanistan’. But who seems to be trapped in a capsule, where the only means of communication is a video link to a mysterious (US Air Force) Captain Goodwin – played by Vera Farma.

The Air Force has some secret project that sends someone’s consciousness backwards in time – Stevens is that someone and Goodwin is his controller. Steven’s mission is to find out the identity of the person who put a bomb on a train. The only catch is that Stevens arrives just eight minutes before the bomb kills everyone on the train (including his ‘host’). But ‘they’ can, and do, send him back as many times as it takes; or until the nuclear bomb, that the train bomber has threaten Chicago with, goes off.

The whole science behind the project is implausible – but the usual suspension of belief gets one through.

Stevens strikes up a relationship with Christina – played by Michelle Monaghan – on the train. Christina is a regular commuter – along with Steven’s host – and Steven eventually falls in love with her.

Stevens must find the identity of the bomber and find a way to save Christina (and all of the people on the train), and spend the rest of his life with Christina. Stevens is very focused on ‘not leaving friends and comrades behind.’ Christina represents something good – someone to spend one’s last moments with (forever).

Goodwin is driven to find the bomber and save Chicago, and she must build a relationship with Stevens to keep him focused on the mission, and along the way they develop a mutual understanding. The film and Goodwin are time constrained as to how to build this relationship, and it ends up with Stevens recalling Hot LZs at night. Farma does a good job in a difficult role.

Stevens dies over and over again, each time he uncovers another clue, or overcomes an obstacle.

As to whether Stevens can save anyone on the train, that depends on whether it is a time machine or a portal to a parallel universe or something else.

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