Friday, April 8, 2011

Source Code: It's Like Groundhog Day...On A Train!

Except if it were an action thriller and instead of repeating a whole day you only got eight minutes. And you had to stop a terrorist attack. Ok so it's not a whole lot like Groundhog Day after all.

Still, could've used some Bill Murray. But then every movie could use more Bill Murray.

I'll be honest, I was kinda iffy on this one. Just not all that interested, this was mostly CleverEuphemism's thing. But I need some time to remind myself that there is in fact a functioning world outside my Thesis Cave, so I went with him to go see it. And it was actually pretty awesome.

And also just generally pretty...Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan are both extremely hot, ok?

So Source Code gives us an extremely confused protagonist named Colter Stevens, a soldier stationed in Afghanistan who somehow ends up on a train in Chicago and is not Colter Stevens at all but Sean Fentress, a teacher on his way to work with a pretty girl named Christina, played by Michelle Monaghan. Everything seems normal (for someone having a this-is-not-my-body experience) until the train esplodes.

Something tells me this isn't part of the regular commute.

Colter rockets awake to find himself in a weird sort of capsule, confused and frightened. A woman on a com screen tells him that he needs to find the bomber of the train. Bit by bit Colter manages to tease information out of this woman, named Goodwin (Vera Farmiga). There was a horrible train accident, through some magical sci-fi bullshit known as the Source Code, Colter can relive eight minutes before the accident in the body of one of the victims (this Sean fellow). His mission: identify the bomber so that he can be apprehended in real life before he strikes again. What follows is a tight, tense thriller as Colter Groundhog Days his way through the train explosion, while at the same time trying to find out how and why he ended up as the Source Code Monkey and what Goodwin and her sinister boss, Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright) the creator of the Source Code, are hiding from him.

"Gawd, you and your whining! 'Why am I here? Where am I? What's going on? Why am I trapped in a dark and scary hole when I'm not on an exploding train? I'm running out of oxygen!' Suck it up and get back on the damn exploding train!"

Source Code, while being filled to the brim with enough magical bullshit science to make even the most unscientific (that would be me) cringe, is a tight, fast-paced thriller that keeps you guessing and keeps you interested. It's a neat premise and is kind of similar to Mini-David Bowie's other film Moon in what it says about people being used and such. It's less straight sci-fi than Moon and more commercial-y but it's still really good. If I had to pick a bone with it, it'd be the ending. Without spoiling anything, it would have been pretty powerful and awesome if it handed ended five minutes before it actually did. The ending's still not terrible, but it really could have been better.

Overall, Source Code is very edge-of-your-seat tense and the scenes that take place outside the train-world are deeply interesting and mysterious. Jake Gyllenhaal proves to me again that he is more than just really pretty and hits it out of the park. You really feel for his character and want him to find some kind of happy ending. Basically, if you're willing to put up with some ridiculous psuedo-science, you are in for a good time. Source Code goes back in time to make me give it three and half catapults out of five (would've been four if they'd fixed the ending).

This is Sugary Cynic, who, between this movie, Unstoppable and The Taking of Pelham 123, has decided to stay the hell away from trains. 'Night!

Dr. Rutledge: "It's an alternate timeline that does not affect this one. If you did call me, I'd never get it. You could send me a pizza for all I care"


  1. I've been wanting to see this. Funny review! Great blog!

  2. Sounds like my cup of tea. Enjoyed reading this as well as knowing what broke-back mountain guy you preferred.


  3. Something tells you this isn't apart of the regular commmute? *CACKLES* Oh lord I hope not! I've been on trains many times, and the worst thing that ever happend was a guy offered me a sandwhich out of his pocket...So add that to your list of reasons NOT to get on a train! HAHAAHAHA Worse than explosions by far is the pocketsammich!

  4. This is on my list of 'to see' movies:)

  5. Well, logically, since it's considered in bad taste to involve planes in such nefarious sci-fi-ery, trains are the next logical terrorist hub.

  6. Brandy: Thanks! Definitely check it out, it was really good

    A: I wish I knew how to quit him

    Lisa: I am now infinitely more afraid of pocketsammiches than train explosions

    Mary: Yes! Def go see it, it was awesome

    Simon: I want to see a terrorist on a tractor


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