This film is a SciFi adventure. If SciFi is not your favorite, this film may not be for you. On the other hand, this film references other movies like Somewhere in Time, Avatar and Groundhog Day. If you enjoyed these films it may be right up your alley.
The story concerns a terrorist act on a passenger train in Chicago. Filmed in and around Chicago with some studio work in Montreal, it is a nifty thriller that adds its own brand of suspense and SciFi thrills to the big screen. It opens with a great main title played over a fast moving city landscape. Chris Bacon’s score brings memories of Bernard Hermann’s great main title to the Hitchcock thriller North by Northwest. Yes, it’s that good.
The story concerns an explosion of a passenger train and a new scientific computer program that somehow allows the investigators to relive the last 8 minutes of the train’s progress in order to try to identify the terrorist and stop an even bigger disaster. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a military guy who jumps in and out of a body aboard the train and tracks the clues. Time is ticking, as is the really big bomb. Along the way romance occurs, even if it only has 8 minutes to develop.
The story progresses at high speed and gives us a Twilight Zone moment at the end. I have seen a number of movies with similar themes. Usually the writers have a clever idea but write themselves into a corner with no satisfactory way out. The entire TV series Lost is a good example. The writers of Source Code figure out a surprising and satisfactory ending.
Western author Louis L’Amour always said that you don’t need to develop a story at the beginning. Start right in the middle of an exciting moment and let it all work its way out later. This film follows that motif with a vengeance. Little by little we learn a bit more about the main character as he “Groundhog Days” his pursuit of the terrorist. His dad, who is heard only on the phone is played by Scott Bakula. This is a clue to the film. I can’t give you any more, as the one thing this film doesn’t need is spoilers. It needs, and deserves, an audience. Over and over again.
Rated 3.5 out of 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0. Another key to Source Code. That’s all you get.