Source Code (2011)

(In theaters, April 2011) I wasn’t as fond of Duncan Jones’ Moon as a lot of people were, but I was really interested in seeing his follow-up effort, and Source Code does not disappoint.  The theme of the deceived protagonist is still there, the setting is just as constrained and the scientific premises is just as wobbly (not to mention a nonsensical title), but Jones here has a bigger budget, a bigger concept, bigger stars and a faster pace.  Ben Ripley’s disaster-movie premise script is ingenious, but it’s paired with other well-paced revelations and the interweaving of both plotlines is effectively achieved.  Jake Gyllenhaal is hitting his stride as a heroic protagonist, with good supporting work from Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and a halting Jeffrey Wright.  Still, the real star here is writer/director Jones, who delivers a fast, clever and entertaining film with some depth and artful gloss.  The ending manages to be elegiac and optimistic at once, and provides a surprising amount of thematic depth for what could have easily been a straight-up genre exercise.  We don’t get quite enough SF movies like Source Code, but given the boost it will give to Jones’ career, chances are that we will get a few more.

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