Sunday 17 April 2011

Source Code (2011) - Duncan Jones

"What would you do if you knew you only had one minute to live?"

Or in this case, eight.  Like Jones' excellent Moon, Source Code depicts a man stuck in an endless cycle determined to alter his fate.  Gyllenhaal's character must repeatedly endure the same eight minute train journey, his mission: discover the identity of the terrorist train bomber to stop future attacks.  It's an intelligent concept, though the "science" is pretty baffling. 

A thriller like this lives or dies by its story, dependant on a satisfying denouement.  Unfortunately, Jones chooses the easy way out.  The film touches on some intriguing themes, in particular the meaning of life after death, but it doesn't delve deep enough.  It's a real shame - Inception proved its possible to create an intelligent summer blockbuster, yet here Jones has focused on the blockbuster elements and lost some complexity in the process.  When the ending finally arrives, its overly-romantic nature feels far too contrived.  The music follows suit - Chris Bacon's orchestral score feels too melodramatic.

Source Code is an intelligent, stylish and enjoyable film - it's far from a train wreck but not quite the gratifying thrill ride it pertains to be.