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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Source Code

Source Code stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Captain Colter Stevens. The movie opens with him waking up on a train. He doesn't know how he got there because the last thing he remembers is flying a helicopter in Afghanistan. The woman across from him is talking to him as if she knows him, and when he goes to the bathroom and looks in the mirror, the face he sees isn't his. Then the train blows up and he's back in a capsule and another military officer is talking to him over a video link.

It turns out that he's part of a mission to identify the man who blew up the train. The team can transport him back 8 minutes into the life of another man who was actually on that train. And they do it over and over again because Stevens can't get enough information. Each time he goes back, the captain tries a new tactic. Each time he goes back, he's more assured in his role, but there are things he doesn't know.

I'm keeping the description of the movie vague because I don't want to reveal any spoilers and ruin the movie for anyone.

I hadn't heard of Source Code and I'm surprised I missed picking up something about it because it's exactly the kind of movie I enjoy most—action, adventure, and suspense with the slightest touch of romance. I would have liked a bit more on the romance front, but given the setup for the plot, I don't think it was possible and it was good the way it was.

Anyway, because I hadn't heard anything more about the movie than the brief description on the On Demand screen, I got to be surprised by the turns the storyline took. Nothing was a gasp-out-loud shock, but I definitely didn't see everything coming and I love that.

Gyllenhaal did a great job making his character sympathetic and likable from the start. I felt his confusion and I was embarrassed for him as he acted strangely, drawing attention to himself in a what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-him way. I was on the journey of discovery with him throughout the movie and there are two storylines twined together. There's Stevens trying to discover who bombed the train and there's Stevens trying to figure out how he got pulled into this mission for Project Source Code. Both stories carried plenty of suspense and kept me intrigued throughout.

The only negative comment I can sort of make is that I guessed the identity of the bomber early. However, the film did a great job of throwing me off the track and I decided I was wrong and started looking for other suspects. So while the guilty party wasn't a shock, it was sort of a surprise because I'd already dismissed my suspicions. I hope this was vague enough.

Since I don't have a bunch of minuses to list here, you've probably guessed I'm giving the movie a recommendation. You're right.

Very enjoyable. Recommended.