Director: Duncan Jones
Writer: Ben Ripley
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga
What would you do if you knew you only had one minute to live?
I usually use imdb's summaries for movies in the beginning of my reviews. But with the “Source Code” it's truly the best if you don't know anything prior to seeing it except for the fact that the man, played by Jake Gyllenhaal suddenly wakes up on the train and few minutes later the train explodes. But here comes the surprise – he doesn't die...
Two years ago most of us saw “Moon”, first feature film by David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones. The movie was beautifully filmed, had an interesting story filled with twists and turns and something that was its heart and soul – Sam Rockwell's masterful performance which was unjustifiably overlooked during Oscar season. Now Jones returns with “Source Code”. The movie doesn't feel as “fresh” as “Moon”, but it wins on another field – the characters.
Yet again Jones uses the theme of isolation in his work. In “Moon” it was a space station where the only friend main character had was a robot. In “Source Code” the only connection Colter Stevens has to the world is a tiny screen and a microphone through which he talks with mysterious Goodwin (Vera Farmiga). With “Moon” we saw slow decomposition of person's mind and spirit, in “Source Code” we see the overwhelming will to survive. Stevens impresses us with his ability to adjust to any situation quickly and with his smart actions and correct judgement calls he gets more and more answers every time he gets back to the train. I seldom have this feeling of hope that the main hero is going to be fine by the end of the film - I felt it during “Source Code” almost throughout the entire movie.
What I like about the film is that it gives us the essentials – there are no boring scenes, everything is necessary, there are many conversations but each and every one of them reveals something to us. The characters are strong, despite seemingly little development and even Michelle Monaghan, who appears to be stuck playing nice pretty girls, makes an impression, even if it's fades away soon after seeing the movie and I bet anyone else could play her role. Farmiga however, who is one of my favorite actresses since “Orphan”, is in my opinion, in Cate Blanchett's league now. She is just amazing in her role – with so little she manages to do so much, she is both cold and compassionate, human and focused on rules and procedures. If a movie has Vera in it, I'll go see it no matter what.
I think it's safe to assume that “Source Code” will become one of this year's greatest movies. It has strong cast, entertaining story and fast pace, that at times, takes your breath away. I can't wait to see what Jones does next.