Source Code (2011)

July 10, 2012 3 Comments
Movies that
explore inhabiting another’s mind or any type of story that relies on “mind
control” as its basis aren’t usually something I watch. This particular take
isn’t the easiest story to relate to because its concept is foreign to the
average person – at best it is emotionally engaging and at worst, it writers
expects us to know too much before things are properly explained.

Protecting
the lives of his fellow U.S. citizen has been Colter Stevens’ mission. As an
American soldier, putting his life on the line is a day-to-day part of his job.
One of the last things Colter remembers is flying a mission over Afghanistan,
when he wakes on a moving train sitting next to a beautiful woman who clearly knows
him… he is beyond confused. Insisting that he is not Sean (Jake Gyllenhaal) as
the woman claims he is, he leaves her side only to glimpse his reflection and
does not even recognize himself. Jarred by a bomb explosion, again he awakens
in a new location, this time strapped into a harness after the train he was a
passenger on exploded. Hearing the voice of a woman, a small computer screen
reveals the person as Navy officer Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) who explains
to him the purpose for assuming another mans identity. The train was just the
first target in a string of high-profile terrorist attacks in Chicago – and
Colter’s mission is to uncover that person’s identity. Using a new scientific
program called Source Code where someone can enter the mind of another human
being to relive their last moments – the brain’s short-lived memory remains
alive eight minutes following death. Sean and the woman he rides the train with
everyday, Christina were among the fatalities that morning on the commuter
train.
Going back in
to complete the mission, the more he talks with her, the more he investigates, the
more Colter begins to feel something for Christina (Michelle Monaghan). It goes
to such an extent that he refuses to leave her behind… and he only has eight
minutes each time he is sent in. He will risk everything – even his own safety
to get her out of the situation before eight minutes passes and disaster
strikes again.
Much like
comparable predecessors, Source Code’s
problem doesn’t lie so much in its emphasis to create a good story structure
but rather its downfall comes with some harsher profanity… but you’ll find more
on that in the footnote. Source Code had
me stumped – it still does to some extent. The change in directions and
misdirection isn’t brilliant enough to actually be mind blowing but it is
clever. It took me into the next day to ponder the intricacies in order to
realize what many of the conclusions were suggesting. The story is gripping in
its ability to pull the audience in enough to care about the hero where its counterparts
might only be considering how big the next explosion should be. The idea that a
man wants to save lives he is told are already past saving is admirable, even
if he felt he had nothing to lose, his dedication was still noble. The main
fault of the movie lies in its necessity to be so repetitive. Its tendency to
repeat on top of itself gets old really fast but at the same time once the
movie settles into the pattern, it does a little better job at skipping parts
of the already rehashed scenario so as not to bore viewers to tears. That being
said, the movie has a fabulous cast who seem to become really complex
characters even with the storyline they are given. Jake and Vera do a nice job
with what they are given but Michelle’s character is basically expendable in
the sense that she has no depth. To be fair, it isn’t for lack of good acting
but limited to little screen time. (Just as a fun side note, in a minor role, a
guest star from a memorable episode of The
Closer
appears.)
Even before
the opening credits finished, the movie impressed me with its set-up, all
before we glimpse a single person or hear a word of dialogue.  It is all thanks to the musical score, which
sets the mood for an intriguing mystery that, makes us as confused as the hero
– which may or may not be a good thing. If you don’t mind having your mind bent
and twisted around in any number of ways, then this is an entertaining
ninety-four minutes.  
(Parental review: Sh*t is a popular form of venting frustration, as is abusing God’s name
with around half a dozen GD. [There is also the phrase “f- you.”] Additionally
problematic is the emotional implications. Several scenes might be disturbing
for those who are sensitive to random violence. One man is mentally disturbed
and shoots two people [there are pools of blood] for numerous reasons, just one
of which is because they threw him “off schedule.” This scene is little more
intense than others merely for the fact that two immovable bodies are shown
lying helpless inches from one another. Elsewhere there are several shots that
repeat themselves of a train exploding [there aren’t ever graphic depictions of
this, but the serious implication of lives lost is explored]; conversation
revolves around what happened to a Navy pilot. Certain other scenes are a
little more intense like Colter being in a capsule of sorts, implied pain when
he transitions back to the train or a man being seen in a coffin-like box
without legs and a host of wires attached to his brain. The film is rated
PG13.) 
Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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3 Comments

  • The Informer July 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I watched that movie a while back. It was pretty good from what I remember.

  • Rachel Hipps July 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    looved this movie. Jake and Michelle were perfect together. I absolutely love both of them (Michelle was also perfect in Eagle Eye- have you seeen it? It was pretty good.) And Jake… well… hottttttt. ;)

  • Rissi July 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    The Informer – I liked it but it wasn't my fave action flick. The acting wasn't bad nor were the characters plus it throws in some good twists.

    So glad you stopped in – thanks bunches for the follow! :-)

    Rachel – yes, I liked this one but it wasn't my fave action movie. I'd definitely watch it again and some of the twists were actually brilliant.

    YES! I have seen Eagle Eye – I quite loved that one! As a matter of fact I keep thinking I am going to post that review as I revised it not long ago and I never do! LOL!

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