Apr 032011
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

“Source Code,” the latest film from sci-fi wunderkind Duncan Jones, is an accessible brand of smart science fiction that will appeal to both techies and general moviegoers alike.

The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Captain Colter Stevens, a U.S. helicopter pilot trapped inside of a laboratory capsule tasked with discovering the whereabouts of a bomb aboard a commuter train.

The only problem is, the bomb already went off.  Stevens has to use the source code –– a high tech military program that allows users to be transported into someone else’s body for the last eight minutes of their life — to unlock the mystery of the bombing and to prevent a larger scale attack.

Jones renounces the ultra-indie intimidation of his last project “Moon” and instead elects for a much more accessible, mainstream feel with “Source Code.”

Stevens’ successive trips back into the source code reveal new information each time around to help solve the mystery about the bomber. This puzzle keeps the audience engaged even when the majority of the movie plays back the same scene over and over again.

As with “Moon,” Jones poses deeper ethical issues but does not completely explore them this time around. He keeps the eerie isolation bit to a minimum, electing to up the explosions instead.

For this reason, “Source Code” feels like a slightly dumbed-down version of a larger Jones’ idea, kept at bay by Hollywood execs. (The muddled forcing of a happy ending feels like it was heavily influenced by studio bigwigs).

Even so, Jones puts more than enough intelligence and originality into “Source Code” to make it not only extremely entertaining, but thought provoking (gasp) as well.  Best movie of 2011 so far.

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at verve@collegian.com and can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonberlinberg.        

 Posted by at 5:12 pm

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