film re­views

Pasatiempo - - Moving Images -

Leap, an ob­vi­ous in­flu­ence, Jones cast that show’s star, Scott Bakula, to voice Colter’s fa­ther. The set de­sign and cin­e­matog­ra­phy cre­ate an un­de­ni­able sense of con­fine­ment and claus­tro­pho­bia. The spe­cial ef­fects, how­ever, are mid­dling — in par­tic­u­lar the scene in which Gyl­len­haal jumps from the speed­ing train — es­pe­cially for a rel­a­tively big-bud­get Hol­ly­wood film.

Though ac­tion and sus­pense drive the film, hu­man in­ter­est, ro­mance, and hu­mor are rid­ing in the back. Colter ini­tially thinks Christina is a ro­bot or com­puter sim­u­la­tion; once he un­der­stands she is (was?) hu­man, he warms up to her. The sweet mo­ment when he sits next to her and in­volves her in a “game” of iden­ti­fy­ing sus­pi­cious pas­sen­gers is straight out of a ro­man­tic com­edy — ex­cept for that pesky ter­ror­ist plot.

Colter even­tu­ally ac­cepts his own fate but de­ter­mines to save Christina and the other pas­sen­gers; with that, Source Code hints at themes of com­pas­sion, com­ing to grips with mor­tal­ity, and learn­ing to value ev­ery minute of our all-too-brief lives. Jones and Ri­p­ley get a lit­tle car­ried away, though. They tack on the sappy feel-good end­ing they think we want and in do­ing so make the ideas they’ve half­way tried to con­vince us are plau­si­ble seem even less so.

Source Code is prob­a­bly one of those head­scratch­ing films that re­quire mul­ti­ple view­ings to piece to­gether. Luck­ily, it of­fers suf­fi­ciently fast­paced ac­tion and at­trac­tive, com­pe­tent leads to make it worth sitting through more than once. I’m look­ing for­ward to putting aside the physics text­book and tak­ing that ride again.

For­get it, Jake — it’s time-re­as­sign­ment town: Michelle Mon­aghan and Jake Gyl­len­haal

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