Source Code is a rare kind of a film nowadays. A techno-thriller with brains and soul. No easy task, but apparently not a first for director Duncan Jones whose previous film Moon (which I did not see yet) has a large number of fans. This second full feature film establishes him as one of the most interesting directors in a genre which is not lacking opportunities in Hollywood, it is missing exactly the intellectual quality and the emotions that he is bringing on the set.




The main hero of the story is a US officer fighting in Afghanistan who wakes up in a train speeding to Chicago in the company of an attractive young woman and soon realizes that his identity and appearance have changed. A few minutes later the train explodes in a terror attack, and he wakes up in his own skin in the constrained space of what looks like a space capsule, to be briefed and learn that he has just lived the last eight minutes in the life of another person. By means of a combination of quantum physics and computer engineering he will be able to return several times in the speeding train and re-live the same events accumulating the knowledge from the previous instances, in alternate runs of the reality, with the goal of finding the terrorist and preventing a second much more damaging attack. Inevitably he will fall in love with the young woman in front of him and tray to save her life and the lives of the other people in the train. It is just that succeeding would actually sliding in a different reality or a parallel universe, name it as you wish.


(video source hollywoodstream)


Science in movies would almost in all cases fail you in technical universities exams, and the one in Source Code would probably not rank better if put under academic scrutiny. It has however two qualities that are important for the film – they allow for the repetition in a constrained space which provides the unity of space and time so dear to writers of good story since the Greek tragedies, and it is exposed gradually and learned by the main hero at the same time as the viewer, which helps us identify with the dilemmas and emotions of the character. Jake Gyllenhaal is an excellent choice for the role and all the other characters support him like a web threaded around his fight against the time to discover the truth and the moral and emotional choice that he makes in the final. A well made film, not too long, not too expensive (but not lacking a few spectacular moments), smart and sensible. One of a rare kind nowadays, did I already say it?