Talented science fiction director Duncan Jones (Moon, Mute) brings us an original, engaging and fast-paced sci-fi flick. Combing futuristic technology, drama and a little bit of action for a pretty enjoyable experience overall. Which I believe still holds up today, aside from a few small issues here and there.
When a soldier wakes up in someone else’s body, he soon discovers he’s part of an experimental government program. Created in order to find the bomber of the commuter train he is aboard. A mission he has only eight short minutes to complete. Despite this time limit however, the film always manages to deliver it’s story very effectively (despite it’s simplicity at points) and builds up a decent layer of mystery and tension as to who is responsible for the bombing.
For me, the overall narrative and direction are the best elements of the film. As the original story is used to it’s best extent for the majority of the run-time, giving the film an almost mystery type structure alongside the science fiction elements. As we follow our protagonist: ‘Colter Stevens’ as he tries to find his bomber over the course of the film, finding many different suspects along the way.
The supporting cast of Vera Farmiga, Michelle Monaghan and Jeffrey Wright all do a pretty great job within the film. However, Jake Gyllenhaal as: ‘Colter Stevens’ is obviously the stand-out, proving that he can hold as a leading hero, regardless of which genre he finds himself in. Unfortunately however, the characters in the film lack much development, as aside from a few short moments, the film never really seems interested in exploring the characters any further than we need to.
The cinematography by Don Burgess is decent for the most part, never really experimenting with anything incredibly interesting, but staying at an average level for the majority of the film. The original score by Chris Bacon is without a doubt the worst element of the film however, as I simply feel the score doesn’t suite this type of film at all. Feeling more like a soundtrack from a generic action film, rather than an original sci-fi such as this one. In addition to this, I’m personally not an enormous of the train set a large majority of the film takes place in. As although this is only a small issue that won’t bother most, I personally found the set to look and feel a little too fake at points.
The film also manages to blend it’s more outlandish sci-fi elements with the more grounded science fiction elements extremely well. Cutting between present day and the past at various points throughout the film, always utilizing the lighting as well as the sets very effectively as a great visual indicator for the audience. ‘Source Code’ also contained a surprising amount of comedic moments throughout which I wasn’t expecting, as ‘Colter’ experiences the strange reality he now finds himself in through his interactions with the various people on-board the train.
‘Source Code’ overall is pretty enjoyable, as while I personally find the film much more interesting for it’s story and ideas, as the visuals and original score throughout the film can be sometimes be very dull and uninspired, as well as the lack of characterisation for many. I find the majority of the filmmaking is decent, and results in a mostly entertaining sci-fi thriller, being easy to enjoy as a simple watch on a Saturday night, and a 7/10 overall.