Monday, April 11, 2011

You Have, As Always, Eight Minutes (My Review of Source Code)

The sophomore effort of Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie) does not disappoint.  While not as perfect as Moon, Source Code is still one of the best time travel movies of all time.  Unlike the recent Denzel Washington thriller with a similar premise, Deja Vu, Source Code sticks to rules that it sets up and has a far more believable science in its science fiction, sticking to a multi-verse view that is really the only plausible way that time travel could exist.

Duncan Jones shows off, yet again, his ability to do a lot with a little.  Although this isn't as small budget as Moon (which amazingly was made for just 5 million dollars), Source Code looks like it was made for much more than just 32 million dollars.  Jones is able to use special effects to great effect, and handles the story, visuals, and characters with precision that belies the fact that this is only his second feature film.  Especially considering that this is a fairly complex and potentially convoluted story.  Yet the direction of Jones, script by Ben Ripley, and performances by Jake Gyllennhaal, Michele Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffery Wright, all combine to keep the plot understandable, but also intriguing and sufficiently full of twists and turns.

The film certainly has a similar idea to Deja Vu, but, like I said, works far better.  There are also traces of the old television show Quantum Leap (which the movie acknowledges through a nice cameo from Sam Beckett himself, Scott Bakula) and the classic repetitious plot film, Groundhog Day.  Like Groundhog Day, Source Code manages to keep repeating the same time period over and over again fresh and interesting, and in the case of Source Code it is only eight minutes being repeated as opposed to an entire day.

Ultimately, Duncan Jones continues to impress me and has added himself to a list of directors whose films I will go see immediately upon release, a list that includes the Coen Brothers, Christopher Nolan, Darren Aronofsky, David Fincher, Alfonso Cuaron, and Guillermo Del Toro.

Until Next Time, do yourself a favor and go see what I consider to be the best film of 2011 so far, Source Code.

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