Thursday, 7 April 2011

Source Code

While we’re talking sci-fi, here is one sci-fi film I would not hesitate to recommend to almost anyone. It’s a sci-fi thriller with just about everything, from moments of intense drama to a romance that does work to action/suspense to an original and intelligent if not quite logical sci-fi plot. And all with only a minimum of violence to keep it from being family friendly (it’s too intense for kids anyway). Source Code was only released here last Friday, so you should still have lots of time to go see it.

Unfortunately, because it is a new release and I am strongly recommending it to all readers, and because of the nature of the film, I cannot in good conscience tell you any more about it. The less you know, the better (avoid all reviews and previews and even reading headlines in the film section of your newspaper - you’ll thank me). This lack of knowledge about the film is all the more important because of the film’s biggest flaw - it’s somewhat predictable, even for a fairly original film. That can be a major problem for me, as regular readers will know, but not if the film, and especially the ending, is otherwise satisfying. Source Code was a very satisfying film.

Source Code was made by Duncan Jones, who made Moon, one of my favourite films of 2009, so I was not surprised that Source Code had both intelligence and heart, as Moon did. Like Moon it also asks questions about what it means to be human. For a thriller, there is much to think about here.

I was particularly impressed by Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance in the lead role. I have always admired his acting skills and this could well be his best work yet. The three primary supporting actors (Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright) were also very good.

I enjoyed Source Code from the opening scene to the final one and I really want to give it four stars, but I don’t think it was quite good enough to get there. I can forgive most of the predictability but my brain can’t forgive working so hard trying, and ultimately failing, to make sense of the plot. So for now it gets a very solid ***+ (it may be good enough to make my top ten of 2011 and I think it’s the first time I’ve written that). My mug is up and the contents very satisfying.

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