By Simon Jago
Source Code was a film I was very much looking forward to seeing. From the acclaimed director of the award winning film 'Moon', Duncan Jones had created another intruiging and unusual film that instantly grabbed my interest. I love the bizarre concepts that feature in his movies and Source Code certainly didn't disappoint.
The film is based around a terrorist attack that takes place on a Chicago commuter train. Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes upon the moving train. He is confused as his identity happens to be mistaken for that of someone else. The female sitting opposite, Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan) appears to know Colter as another person and is engaged in friendly chit chat. Eight minutes later the train is destroyed by a bomb and Colter suddenly finds himself strapped to a seat in a bizarre science fiction looking pod. While trying to come to grips with what exactly has just happened he is contacted by Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) through a computer screen.
Colter desperate for answers finds his only link to civilisation is through Colleen and her collegue Dr.Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright), who appear only interested in details about the bomber. Colter is then sent back. He wakes on the train once again to find everything taking place exactly how it did before. Colter finds himself in a 'Groundhog Day' situation where he has to relive the same last eight minutes of this other man's life over and over again. However, he soon learns that he can change events slightly by acting differently. With each varied attempt at reliving what is considered 'the past' Colter comes that little bit closer to stopping the bomb from detonating. Colter starts to develop feelings for the strange but familiar girl sitting opposite him and soon becomes determined to save her life.
The plot takes interesting twists and turns as more is revealed about the apparent time travelling process. The various attempts at solving the crime result in drastic outcomes and you find yourself really routing for Colter to save the day. It's easy to sympathise with Colter's situation as he longs to save Christina (the girl he is told is already dead). Jake Gyllenhaal's performance is outstanding throughout and there is real gravitas as his character reveals the shocking truth about his existence outside the last eight minutes. The constant power struggle between Colter and his apprent captives through the computer screen is engaging and there is real believeablity to the characters and the situation at hand.
This film was extremely entertaining, and just as I thought it had taken a turn for the worst with regards to the happy 'Hollywood' ending there was a more thought provoking conclusion which cemented my satisfaction. A must watch, 4 stars out of 5.