Don’t be scared away by talk of quantum mechanics, complex mathematical equations, and computer source codes. You don’t have to understand any of that to enjoy this movie (trust me, I know). Source Code is a bit like Groundhog Day meets Speed meets Inception meets 24. It’s a sci-fi thriller that takes place primarily on a commuter train that is – literally- about to explode.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Colter Stevens, an Army Captain who wakes up (in another man’s body) on the ill-fated train, just minutes before a bomb goes off. His mission is to find the passenger who planted the bomb and prevent a second, deadlier terrorist attack on the city of Chicago. Stevens has eight minutes to accomplish his mission. But as they say – if at first you don’t succeed…
Turns out, those eight minutes represent a window into a parallel universe of sorts that can be revisited over and over and over again – but not without consequences. Each “re-entry” takes a physical and emotional toll on Stevens, who isn’t quite sure how and why he ended up on this mission to begin with. The mission is directed from afar by a mysterious duo (Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright) holed up in some super-secret government lab. They only give Stevens the basic information they think he needs to know to get the job done. The movie is a sci-fi and psychological thriller – as well as a romance – as sparks fly between Stevens and his attractive seat-mate on the train (Michelle Monaghan). Hey, a lot can happen in eight minutes.
The less you know about this movie going in, the better. I’m sure computer geeks will examine it on a whole other level, but for me, it’s about suspending all logic and appreciating it for its grounding in humanity and subtle humor. It’s an action movie with heart.
I’m still processing the ending. The more I think about it, the more intriguing/acceptable it becomes. Let me know if you agree – or not.