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The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Source Code Movie Review: A Mind-Bending Train Ride Worth Taking

By Tony Johnson | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Source Code wastes no time. After seeing the city of Chicago through almost every camera angle you can think of during the brief opening credit sequence, we are thrown right into a train with an awakened and perplexed passenger (Jake Gyllenhaal). Not knowing where he is or who the pretty woman (Michelle Monaghan) sitting across from him is, he panics. However, this isn’t your average case of amnesia. While pacing through the train, he stumbles upon a mirror and realizes he’s in a totally different body. Naturally, he becomes frantic, and before he can say “WTF,” the train explodes.

Those moments occur within the first five minutes of Source Code. If that’s too rushed for you, you better get off the train while you still can. Moments even more intense than the first five minutes occur frequently and at a faster rate. The reason being is: we learn the perplexed passenger’s name is Captain Colter Stevens; he has been placed in a military-operated program (aka Source Code) in which he can live the final eight minutes of a person’s life in order to alter the future. In his case, he’s in the body of one of the diseased passengers of the exploded train, and he must find the bomb and the bomber in order to prevent a more catastrophic occurrence from happening.

Needless to say, he has a lot on his shoulders. For audiences, it may seem like a heavy mission to watch eight minutes take place in the same setting over and over again, but instead, each set of eight minutes gets better and better due to the little things. Where other films, such as Vantage Point, tried and failed to keep the viewer interested, Source Code triumphs. Small changes, discrete details, and shocking revelations will hold your interest till the ride ends.

Directed by Duncan Jones (his excellent feature debut was 2009’s Moon) and written by Ben Ripley, and with a perfect balance of suspense and charm, Source Code surpasses just another “B” rating. However, much of that credit should also go to its leading man, Jake Gyllenhaal, who puts unexpected emotion into his sci-fi protagonist and makes him more interesting to follow. Other supporting characters such as the mysterious woman walking Stevens through the program (played with sincere empathy by Vera Farmiga) and the man with cruel intentions (a sinister Jeffrey Wright) help remind us there is a world outside the train; but, the ride is so exciting, you’d rather be stuck on the train, along with a sweet but underused Michelle Monaghan.

There are one or two plot holes here and there, and it’s not as thought-provoking as other sci-fi, brain-teaser movies such as Inception, but it’s just as intriguing and is set at a faster pace. The major revelation is freaky yet fascinating, and the ending is cheesy but ultimately satisfying. It can be hard to keep up with Source Code at times, but it never goes too fast that it veers off the tracks. It’s a movie that pins you to your seat and will have you decoding the outcome even after seeing it multiple times. It’s far from a train wreck, so whether it’s an intricate puzzle of a film or just a fun, fast-paced getaway you’re after, take a seat and enjoy the ride. B+

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    Deanna vincentAug 30, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    source code was an amazing movie i gripped my seat wanting to know what would happen next.
    the actor had only 8 minutes to find the killer its very thrilling.

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Source Code Movie Review: A Mind-Bending Train Ride Worth Taking