FILM

Ex­plo­sive ac­tion film is also heart­break­ing “Adren­a­line pump­ing”

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - LET’S PARTY - By Da­mon Smith

Is time-trav­el­ling ac­tion movie Source Code a box of­fice win­ner? Read our re­view.

TIME cer­tainly isn’t on the side of the gung-ho hero in Dun­can Jones’ fast­paced ac­tion thriller. He has just eight min­utes to avert disas­ter and un­mask a bomber who has planted an ex­plo­sive de­vice on a speed­ing com­muter train bound for Chicago. How­ever, there’s a mind­bog­gling twist – if the hero fails and the bomb det­o­nates, killing ev­ery­one on board, the hero can travel back in time to re­live the same nail­bit­ing eight min­utes, gather­ing more ev­i­dence to solve the case. Ground­hog Day shakes hands with The Ma­trix in Jones’ ea­gerly-awaited fol­low-up to the crit­i­callyadored Moon. While this new film lacks some of the low-bud­get in­ge­nu­ity of the di­rec­tor’s eye-catch­ing de­but, Source Code is nev­er­the­less an adren­a­line-pump­ing thrill ride that plays fast and loose with our no­tions of space and time. On re­flec­tion, there are as­pects of the high-con­cept plot that do not make sense and some of the dig­i­tal ef­fects aren’t as slick and pol­ished as you would ex­pect. How­ever, Jones and edi­tor Paul Hirsch don’t pause for breath, main­tain­ing a brisk tempo through­out as the clock ticks down re­lent­lessly to­wards dooms­day. He­li­copter pilot Cap­tain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyl­len­haal) wakes on a train, sitting op­po­site Christina War­ren (Michelle Mon­aghan). Con­fus­ingly, she calls him Sean and a visit to the bath­room re­veals that he is trapped in­side the body of a teacher called Sean Fen­tress. “Ev­ery­thing’s go­ing to be okay,” smiles Christina as the train ex­plodes. Colter wakes al­most in­stantly in a top-se­cret fa­cil­ity un­der the con­trol of Dr Rut­ledge (Jef­frey Wright), who needs Colter to iden­tify the bomber. “I don’t know who bombed the train!” rages Colter. “Then go back and find out,” sternly replies Rut­ledge, or­der­ing uni­formed of­fi­cer Colleen Good­win (Vera Farmiga) to send the pilot back into the “source code”, which has been culled from the real Sean Fen­tress’ mem­ory. Each time Colter is trans­ported back into the par­al­lel re­al­ity, he gathers in­tel­li­gence about his fel­low pas­sen­gers in­clud­ing busi­ness­men Max Denoff (Rus­sell Peters) and stu­dent Derek Frost (Michael Ar­den). Source Code doesn’t be­come too bogged down in the science be­hind the slam-bang thrills, and while Colter is des­tined to re­peat the same jour­ney down the line, the it­er­a­tions are suf­fi­ciently dif­fer­ent to hold our at­ten­tion. The cen­tral re­la­tion­ship be­tween Colter and Colleen draws ob­vi­ous par­al­lels with Moon, and con­firms that Jones is a di­rec­tor ca­pa­ble of

elic­it­ing com­pelling per­for­mances from his leads. Gyl­len­haal brings vul­ner­a­bil­ity to his role, in­clud­ing a heart­break­ing scene when he breaks pro­to­col to make an im­por­tant tele­phone call. Farmiga is equally im­pres­sive

“Slam-bang

thrills”

in a role that re­quires her, largely, to stare down a cam­era lens. The ro­mance with Mon­aghan is a sweet di­ver­sion, pro­vid­ing the im­pe­tus for a fi­nal jour­ney in­side the source code to at­tempt to re­write a his­tory that can­not ap­par­ently be changed.

AC­TION MAN: Jake Gyl­len­haal is com­pelling. RO­MAN­TIC: Stars Michelle Mon­aghan and Jake Gyl­len­haal.

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