Reviewed Aug 08, 2012
Following a very promising start which wastes no time in sinking it's claws into the audience, Source Code ultimately falters by having a complex science fiction story descend into a schmaltzy, near chick flick-like affair which betrays the tone of what could have been a great piece of sci-fi cinema to rank alongside other great memory themed movies such Total Recall and Minority Report.
Director Duncan Jones' first major league feature seems to show that the director is uncomfortable with this sort of movie, with perhaps the desire to reign in the ending to resemble much more of an indie feature which could account for the films whimpering finale. If this is the case then they are fears unfounded as much of the first hour of the film is good.
Jake Gyllenhaal is a US soldier who finds himself part of an operation known as source code in which he is repeatedly sent to relive the final 8 minutes before a train explosion in a hope of finding the bomber. He is guided by a distinctly wooden Vera Farmiga and aided on the train by the always bland Michelle Monaghan. Farmiga punches well below her weight here and seems to be going through the motions. Gyllenhaal has been much better whereas Monaghan is a person never to expect anything special from. Her chemistry with Jake is almost non-existent.
Source Code does redeem itself somewhat with a pounding first hour narrative which zips along and is intelligent and engaging as most who-dunnits as pieces of the puzzle slot into place and more is revealed with each 8 minute excursion. Unfortunately once the perpetrator is inevitably caught, that's when the movie flounders do deal with Jake's daddy issues and unbelievable relationship with Monaghan.
Source Code is a good idea but one which is has been told in a completely unsatisfactory way leaving it stripped of all it's originality and drama to leave something bland and that no one will care about.