The second feature film from Duncan Jones (David Bowie’s son, though his greater claim to fame may be his direction of 2009’s Moon), Source Code is an action-thriller which follows Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) – a soldier who wakes up inside the body of another man, and discovers that his assignment is to stop a terrorist attack.
It’s revealed that Colter Stevens is, in fact, inside an experimental Government program called the “Source Code,” which allows a participant to cross over into another man’s body for the last eight minutes of is life. Our protagonist is required to re-live the last eight minutes again and again (and again), to discover the bomber on his train. Along the way Colter deals with his daddy issues and falls in love (with Michelle Monaghan). It’s a very action-packed eight minutes.
Source Code is not the film I expected from Jones for his second foray into filmmaking, but that doesn’t make it a bad film. Despite being more action and less art house than Moon, Source Code still works – if you’re willing to suspend any and all disbelief, that is. The premise is poorly revealed, the ‘science’ in this science fiction is basically just fantasy, and there are so many plot holes one wonders how the film doesn’t disintegrate entirely.
But Gyllenhaal is charming, the story is engaging, and the romantic sub-plot adds a nice human touch. Although not smart, Source Code has heart.