Released on DVD back in August (and BluRay, if you fancy), Source Code was one of the films that got away from me when it first came out: it’s got action (everything a man needs in a film, right?), a good cast of characters (everything a woman needs? Okay, now I’m stereotyping) and a science fiction element (everything we love!). Featuring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga and a cast of special effects to blow your mind in their subtlety, it’s not one to miss.

The basic premise: Colter Stevens (Gyllenhall) has eight minutes to find out who set off a bomb on a train travelling to Chicago. When the eight minutes are up, he come back to reality. It should be simple enough, or so say his commanding officers, to find out who planted the bomb. The aim is to prevent a further attack. The problem: he’s only human, and he might have fallen in love with Christina (Monaghan).

While facing up with this new, er, problem, there’s also a train full of people to both save and to put up with. Things could definitely be a little less complicated for him. With a cynical comic, a panicky student and an eager businessman to survive, and only eight minutes at a time to try find the bomber, he really can’t afford to have feelings for anyone.

Overall, it’s a great film. It wasn’t an award-winner in 2011, but it’s certainly worth the watch. The plot isn’t overly complicated (always a risk with a “time travel” film): in terms of the train, the same scene is lived and relived, while the control centre follows the progress his findings have on the crime. It makes for an easy to watch story with some explosions that rival Michael Bay films and a number of special effects that make for some nice transitions between reality and the source code.

What really got me about Source Code was the repetition of scenes. While we see the train a number of times, with the same small things occurring over and over again, the differences make for distinguishing the replays of the event. The ways in which different choices affect the course of events becomes strikingly obvious in some instances, while the futility of other actions becomes immediately clear in others.

While other films along the same lines – such as Deja Vu – stretch believability to its limits, Source Code maintains a degree of plausibility within the plot. Yes, the whole thing is made up and the technology will likely never exist, but it doesn’t seem so improbable to re-create the events in a simulation.

If you’re looking for a good night in with something for everyone, this is the one to pick. Filled with excitement, it wont’ disappoint.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Director: Duncan Jones
Release date: April 1st 2011
Age certificate:  12A


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