Saturday, October 13, 2012

Source Code: DVD Review

Colter Stevens: It's the same dream, but it's different!
Christina Warren: Deep. I hope it's different. I feel the same way.

Source Code (2011) PG-13
WARNING: This review might contain SPOILERS!

Source Code - When I first saw trailers for this film my first reaction was the plot was similar to the main plot device for the television show Seven Days, because of the time limit of how far back the "time traveler" goes, except it isn't quite the same thing. In the show it was the technology that limited the trips to only 7 days into the past, in this movie the main character goes back to earlier in the day but is limited to 8 minutes in the past due to the "source code" which is more like going into a Matrix of some kind than a time travel machine. I also saw similarities to the show Quantum Leap starring Scott Bakula who makes a vocal appearance in this film as the main character's father in a nod to Quantum Leap. The main character or at least his mind sort of "leaps" into another character via the technology of the "source code".

Bare with me here for a moment. The "technology" or science that allows for source code traveling is more sort of a biotechnology than mechanical technology. The basic gist is that after a person is clinically dead there is still some brain activity for approximately eight minutes after death. The source code technology allows someone to tap into or "leap" into that persons final memories and allows for them to "live in" that person's final moments of life. It also allows the "leaper" to go back multiple times. They don't state a specific number of leap attempts that can be made but they seem to indicate there are limits, due to the deterioration of the dead subjects brain activity.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Colter Stevens the protagonist a US Army helicopter pilot who last recalls being stationed in Afghanistan and the source code "leaper". He wakes up on a train as someone else, who he later learns is one of the victims on the train when it is blown up by a terrorist outside of Chicago and that it was believed to be just the beginning of a bigger terrifying plan. It was determined that the train had been bombed remotely by a former passenger on the train. Colter's mission is to find out who bombed the train and stop them before more bombs go off. Along the way he learns that he is in the body of a man named Sean Frentress and the woman who is sitting across from him is a friend of Sean's named Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan).

After the bomb goes off Colter finds himself in a dark chamber that slightly resembles a larger version of his copter's cockpit. He learns that the isolation chamber he is in is part of some military operation. He is told he is in a place called "belegerd castle" a part of some experiment called "The Source Code" by a female Captain Goodwin (Vera Farmiga). Goodwin briefs him on his mission to locate the bomb and try to determin who put it there. Just when he thinks he knows what is going on he is sent back onboard the train to relive "his" or rather Sean's last 8 minutes. Along the way Colter meets the creator of The Source Code Project a Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright).

Colter falls in love with Christina and then his main goal is to figure out how he can save her and the other passengers. Rutledge and Goodwin inform him that stopping the bombing is NOT his mission and that he needs to concentrate on finding the bomber. Of course he does manage to find a way to save the day and change the future a bit.

I really enjoyed this film. The time limit of the traveling reminded me as I said of Seven Days. Colter's waking in the body of someone else reminded me of Quantum Leap. There is even a slight nod to the show both in the casting of Scott Bakula as Colter's father and a scene with a mirror when Colter first learns he is in another body.
Both of the main actresses Monaghan and Farmiga are beautiful and give great performances. The interaction between Monaghan and Gyllenhaal was also very good. They have a great chemistry which shows and in the extras on the DVD is talked about by the actors and the director.

Directed by: Duncan Jones
Summit Entertainment
DVD Release Date: 26 July 2011
Region 1
1 Disc - 93 Minutes

1 comment:

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