Source Code is the latest film from Moon director Duncan Jones. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Captain Colter Stevens. Colter Stevens has been sent on a mission to relive the last eight minutes of a teacher’s life. Colter is sent into this man’s life to stop the bombing of the train that killed everyone on board. If Colter can successfully find and stop the bomber from executing the terrorist attack, he will also allow the US Army to prevent another attack planned by the same man for present day. The other issue plaguing Colter Stevens is how he ended up on this assignment and what happened to him after his original assignment in the Middle East.
This film is fascinating on paper. The idea of a story about a man who is trapped in a machine and has to constantly relive eight minutes of someone else’s life to stop a future event sounds fascinating. The problem with this film lies not in its overall execution but in its story. The level of detail just isn’t there to allow me a chance to invest in the situation Colter finds himself in. Do I feel sympathy for him having to constantly relive the eight minutes of a dead passenger? Yes I do. Do I feel slight sadness knowing everyone on that train has to die countless times for the bomber to be caught? Sure. The problem with this film is its pacing is too quick in my opinion. Let me spend time getting to know the other passengers on the train. I want the film to tell me what motivated Colter Stevens to serve in the army to begin with. None of those questions were ever fully addressed in the film which for me, would have given the film a deeper context.
Source Code is a movie with a lot of promise that is partially fulfilled just by the story making sense. Tiny details could have made the characters journey more rich and fulfilling but instead this film is good instead of great.