Theorizing that one could time travel within the last eight minutes of someone else’s lifetime, Captain Colter Stevens stepped into the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished. He awoke to find himself trapped on a train, facing a mirror image that was not his own and driven by an unknown bomb to blow up in a violent explosion. Now, Captain Stevens must continue re-living those eight minutes until he can figure out who planted the bomb and prevent him from detonating a meaner, dirtier nuclear bomb in the present.
All Quantum Leap jokes aside, that is the bare bones synopsis of Source Code, the latest opus from Duncan Jones, director of the critically acclaimed 2009 film Moon and son of legendary rock icon David Bowie. As with Moon, Jones continues to imbue his films with homages and shout outs to science fiction of the past, not the least of which is the Quantum Leap inspirations very evident in the film (including a nifty cameo by Scott Bakula, evident by his speaking the immortal line “Oh boy”). Where Moon was a love letter to the sci fi thrillers of the late 60’s through the 80’s, most notably Ripley Scott’s Alien and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Source Code has a very Christopher Nolan feel to it, although there is still that Alien feel in the scenes of Captain Stevens in the time machine, which is never given a name, but it does seem as though it would be called a Time Pod if anything.
Duncan Jones is certainly bringing up his game from Moon, in which there was little to no action, rather it was all a psychological piece. Source Code is still very much a psychological thriller (in the Chris Nolan style, as I said earlier), but it also brings big explosions, gun play (albeit limited) and a romantic B story to the table. Source Code works on every level. It’s a terrific character piece, a wonderful story film and a fantastic popcorn movie. The acting from Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko) and Michelle Monaghan (Mission: Impossible III) is superb, and all of the supporting players, like Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace), deliver equally riveting performances. Bottom line, if you enjoyed Moon this film is certainly a must-see. If you didn’t see Moon, go rent moon and then go see this movie. Just a word of warning, as with Moon, what you think is the truth may not always be. By the time the credits roll at the end you will know what you just saw, but during the journey you’re never quite sure of what it is you’re seeing.
Will Conservatives Like This Movie?
Source Code is very a-political. While the movie does feature some political overtones, the politics are both fictional (in that they apply to the world we live in, but not necessarily the politicians or specific issues prevalent in today’s society) and also very much part of the back story. So, yes, conservatives and liberals alike would be able to find this movie enjoyable and transpose whatever political agenda they wish to it.
------------------------------------------ SheldonCooper is a self-proclaimed Roddenberry Kool-Aid drinker, but every once in a while we let him out of the rubber room where we keep the Trekkies around here. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org