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Source Code

by

Jeff Nelson

Source Code is captivating and an easy recommendation.

Source Code
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Judging by the films have been released thus far in the year 2011, there haven't been many good movies worth seeing in the theaters. There have been way too many duds released onto the big screen recently with only a couple decent ones worth seeing. However, there is a rather exciting line-up scheduled for the summer. Source Code is a film that could have gone either way. A huge letdown or a good sci-fi thriller. Fortunately, it's the latter.

A soldier is recruited for a time-bending government investigation that places him in another man's body and mind, reliving the same traumatic event repeatedly in an attempt to identify the bomber of a Chicago train. The trailer alone shows how action packed this film is. Don't let that fool you that it doesn't have more to it beneath the surface. Underneath all the action, there's a story that feels fresh. The plot line of events are rather predictable. This doesn't stop the fun that's to be had thoughout. The problem that occurs in many of these films is that the characters aren't likable, so the audience doesn't bother to care what happens to them. In Source Code, our leading character is likable. The screenplay flows as it's very fast paced. With such a great buildup, I was disappointed with the ending. Hollywood certainly left its fingerprints all over the final few moments of the film. There are many alternative ways this could have ended, but the final few minutes of the movie felt out of place to offer a semi-happy ending. The thought of a film where someone continues to go back to the same event throughout the entire movie sounds repetitive. This isn't the case with Source Code. Each time the lead goes back to the bombing, there's always new events depending on the different actions made on the train. There isn't one single boring moment in this movie from start to finish.

Alongside the engaging screenplay is a very capable cast. Jake Gyllenhaal performs as Colter Stevens. He feels natural in his role and interacts with the love interest well. Speaking of, Michelle Monaghan plays the role of Christina Warren. She does just as good a job as Gyllenhaal. There aren't any actors in this that feel out of place from the rest. Each actor feels like a piece of the puzzle when they all fit each other. None of the acting is award winning, but it makes the film whole.

This could have been a low budget film with shoddy visuals and it wouldn't have stopped me from seeing it. Needless to say, the visuals are far from bad. Everything on screen looks great. The explosions that are repeated numerous times on the train are huge and look fantastic. There are some truly incredible shots of Chicago shown especially in the beginning and the end. The explosions that occur on the train aren't the same shot each time. There are different angles and some interesting manipulations made to the film so that the same exact scene isn't being repeated time and time again.

All the positive buzz that has been spread about this film you can believe. While this definitely isn't a perfect movie, it's an engaging ride. The writing is decent, acting is good, and visuals are outstanding. The ending doesn't work to the movie's advantage, but it's easy to brush off. Despite Source Code being predictable, there's a lot this film has to offer. It's a fun time at the movies and is one worth seeing on the big screen to get the full theatrical experience. Source Code is captivating and an easy recommendation.

My Rating = Four Stars

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