EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|SOURCE CODE (director: Duncan Jones; screenwriter: Ben Ripley; cinematographer: Don Burgess; editor: Paul Hirsch; music: Chris Bacon; cast:(Colter Stevens), (Christina Warren), (Colleen Goodwin), (Dr. Rutledge), Michael Arden (Derek Frost), Cas Anvar (Hazmi), Russell Peters (Max Denoff), Frédérick De Grandpré (Sean Fentress Reflection), Joe Cobden (Jim), Gordon Masten (Conductor), Chris Thomas (Executive); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Mark Gordon/Jordan Wynn/Philippe Rousselet; Summit Entertainment and Vendôme Pictures; 2011)|
|"Slick sci-fi thriller
about parallel universes."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Duncan Jones ("Moon") helms
this slick sci-fi thriller about parallel universes. It ultimately works only as escapist
entertainment, even though it promises more--tense suspense and an
intelligent story. But it goes no further than promising because it
doesn't know when to conclude.
It's creatively structured by Jones and is smartly written by Ben
Ripley, until it implodes because it can't find a way to intelligently
end it without resorting to a bogus Hollywood happy ending. The dumb
ending, probably dictated by the studio suits, removes its early
storytelling success of making it a substantial existential story.
For the heady types taking in
this mainstream treat (a film much like Groundhog Day-1993), the Source
Code refers to a way of resetting time and creating a parallel universe, and is diverting until the pic
is compromised and turns into the usual trite blockbuster big-budget
film. Though its conceit might seem hokey futuristic sci-fi stuff, it's
nevertheless governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. I just finished reading the renown
scientist Dr. Michio Kaku's latest book "Physics of the Future," and
what's seemingly farfetched here might be according to him part of our
daily lives by the year 2100. The film's concept is an interesting one
to ponder, especially since we already have the technology to carry it
Colter Stevens () is an Air Force captain on active duty in Afghanistan, who is stunned to wake up on a Chicago bound commuter train and have the pretty twentysomething stranger Christina Warren () sitting near him and acting as if they're together. The disorientated Colter has no idea why he's on the train, why he has an id card that says he's history teacher Sean Fentress and why when he looks in the mirror there's the face of someone else. After eight minutes pass, a bomb aboard the train explodes and kills all the passengers. Colter is seen after the blast in a metal capsule, where the military's Captain Colleen Goodwin (Goodwin insists he go back to relive those eight minutes until he discovers the bomb's location and the identity of its maker, and that he should not bother doing anything else to impede the mission.
Dr. Rutledge (), the patriotic inventor of the Source
Code, and is told that he died two months ago as a Silver Star hero in
a helicopter crash in the Afghanistan war and since his brain was still
partially functioning was recruited as a guinea pig for this
experimental secret military program. Colter learns that he's been
programmed for this mission to catch the mad bomber, who claimed the
train explosion was only the beginning and that his next terrorist act
will be a ‘dirty bomb’ in crowded Chicago. Functioning with the
implanted memories of the dead passenger, the war hero learns he has
another chance to be a hero and save lives and that after this mission
he will be allowed to permanently die.
Colter's handlers insist all he can do is locate
the bomber so that he doesn't strike again, but he cannot alter events
since the explosion already occurred. Our hero insists he must try to
do more and goes through another nerve wracking eight minute rerun on
the train to see if he can stop the bomb from being detonated and
thereby save lives, and tells Goodwin he's willing to die if he can
save the lives on those on the train.
REVIEWED ON 4/3/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ