Director Duncan Jones(Son Of David Bowie By The Way…Yes That David Bowie) originally impressed me with his 2009 film Moon starring Sam Rockwell. On the surface Moon looked like a typical indie sci-fi picture. However, Moon, to me, was actually about knowing yourself and the questions of what makes us who we are. A movie that appears to be one thing but turns out to really be about something else entirely. Two years later, Jones directed a film that fell again under the design of an EXISTENTIAL question hidden behind a sci-fi genre. That film was Source Code.
Source Code was promoted as another “unique” a sci-fi concept thriller. Its probably why it took me so long to see it. But as you watch it, you start to realize that its not the stated terrorist plot that is important to this story at all. Its not even the, not so well hidden, twist (Which I won’t spoil) that reveals itself 45 minutes in. Its the questions of fate and destiny and whether its worth it to even fight to change something that is inevitable and ultimately irrelevant.
Concepts like these by themselves could make for an interesting film…but not in this day and age. Hollywood is under the belief that these questions as the subject of a film are not good for business. They think it is too much work to market EXISTENTIALISM to the mass populous. So filmmakers try and hide their EXISTENTIAL films inside films that Hollywood knows how to promote. Most times they’re done poorly. Sometimes they’re done well. Sometimes they’re done so well, that they entertain the intellectual and…um…how do I put this….the people who like stuff that blow up real good. Source Code is one of the films that has done it well.
No, it is not a flawless film. Its overly sentimental at times and the final scene ends rather abruptly. However, Source Code is still a solid film with solid performances from Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright. For those of you over 29 that remember a little TV Show called Quantum Leap, there is a very cool nod to the similarities between it and Source Code. There will be no doubt in your mind that it entertained you after you’ve seen it. Don’t believe me? Charge the drivers….go back 8 minutes….think about it…then tell me I’m wrong. (That joke will makes sense after viewing…but probably still won’t be funny.)