I first saw the trailer for Source Code about two weeks ago and that two minute preview managed to bump Sucker Punch, a movie with a very impressive trailer, down the pecking order. The Nerdy Trio therefore set off to the VIP lounge as a reward for a hard week at work to see Source Code.
PLOT: Capt Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a US army pilot who wakes up on a train having been transported into the body of a random commuter. Stevens has eight minutes to find out which passenger blew up the train killing everyone on board. This happens several times without the dry humour of Groundhog Day until Stevens finally figures out who our public transport using terrorist is. There is racial profiling. There are daddy issues. There is romance. There is the discovery that everyone on the train died. There is the discovery that Stevens is also dead with his functioning brain being linked to the Source Code which is in turn linked to the last eight minutes of said random commuter. The plot desperately stretches itself out in order to have an apparently necessary happy ending. END PLOT
Source Code is set in our modern day and throws around phrases like “quantum physics” in order to explain the science behind the Source Code simulation. I can buy into movie science quite easily and generally accept the amazing scientific feats that mankind are capable of in film - this aspect of the plot did not bother me in the slightest.
It was emphasised throughout the film that the people on the train were already dead, Stevens was also dead and that the events of the Source Code would have no effect whatsoever on the real world. These facts were mentioned over and over again by Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) however at the end of the film, in order to give the audience a happy ending, the Source Code world enters the real world and Stevens, inside the body of the random commuter, saves the train, gets the girl and apparently lives happily ever after with Christina (Michelle Monaghan).
What the hell happened to the mind of random commuter? If the train didn’t explode then he didn’t die and his mind is now forever floating around in the ether somewhere. It was a completely ridiculous way in which to end what was an otherwise tight little thriller.
Another aspect of the movie which annoyed me was the character of Goodwin. Goodwin starts off as a strong professional, however as she is a woman, her character must soften and in the end destroy the Source Code in order to grant Stevens request for death at the end of the mission. It irks me that someone who has spent their entire career in the military and fighting terrorism could so easily destroy the greatest weapon ever created because she developed a little crush on a brain.
The above paragraph is a bit of a moot point as in the end the train didn’t explode, Goodwin didn’t speak to Stevens in the Source Code and the events of the movie technically never happened.
I would have had much more respect for Source Code if it didn’t wimp out on its ending and have the people on the train die, the terrorist be caught and Stevens mind wiped and reset in order to set up a potential franchise.
The scenes with Stevens inside his capsule are filmed very darkly and this contrasts nicely with the glaring happy brightness of the characters on the train although this could have been the light bouncing off Michelle Monaghans happy smiley white teeth. I like my thrillers dark and gritty but I should have known that the colourful brightness of the train scenes would ensure that a happy ending would follow suit.
Jake Gyllenhaal was as watchable as ever and although Source Code has flaws you can't really fault Jakes performance.
I remember sticking up for Vera Famiga before the movie began by saying that as I have no real opinion of her as an actress then she must be doing okay however after watching Source Code and the pathetic drippy actions of her character she has now been moved over onto the Shitlist.
We are getting a run of thrillers this month with The Lincoln Lawyer, Limitless and now Source Code and its nice that this genre is getting some screen time. Source Code gets a 6/10. It would have scored so much higher if it didn’t pussy out (for want of a better expression) and force a happy ending.