Source Code (2011 Film)

First, an introduction to the movie: Source Code (directed by Duncan Jones) revolves around Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), who finds himself inside the body of a man that died in a train bombing incident. Apparently, the last eight minutes of a person’s life leaves a small spark of cognitive imprint that the military wanted to exploit so they could save thousands of other lives. What Captain Stevens does is dive into the last eight minutes of the diseased school teacher’s life so that he could investigate where the bomb is located and who the bomber is.

I’m not going to spoil this movie any further, but suffice to say that Jake Gyllenhaal and his co-star/leading lady Michelle Monaghan were such great actors — hey, even the unethical scientists played by Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright were utterly convincing! — that you might find yourself falling in love with the movie. In my case, however, I had this tiny argument with myself in my head:

“Oooh, my favorite comedian, Russell Peters is in Source Code!”
“Cool, but what do you honestly think about the entire movie?”
“Nadapa utak ko.” (My brain tripped.)
“Seriously? But doncha just love Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan?”
“Yes, yes, he has come a long way from Brokeback Mountain and Prince of Persia, but those loose ends are killing me…”
“But Jessica Zafra loves it! You love Jessica Zafra, even if you’re afraid of her.”
“She loves it because of Jake Gyllenhaal.”
“Okay, but you have to admit it’s like Groundhog Day meets Inception.”
“Everyone’s making too many Inception-esque movies these days…”
“How come you never like movies that everybody else likes?”
“You think everybody likes this? But…NADAPA UTAK KO!”

Sure enough, I went to Rotten Tomatoes and found that 90% of the 196 reviews of Source Code were glowing. I want my validation, darn it! But yeah, the other me was correct. I have weird taste in films. I generally like films that everybody else hates and vice-versa.

I mean, renowned film critic Roger Ebert sings praises to it:

…Jones has the right spirit, Gyllenhaal and Monaghan are adept at playing their variations on the eight minutes, and here’s a movie where you forgive the preposterous because it takes you to the perplexing. Full review here.

I guess, I found my validation in IGN, which is mostly known for video game reviews. Jim Vejvoda writes:

Source Code’s Groundhog Day meets Minority Report premise is definitely intriguing, but its gaps in logic and arbitrary rules about the source code ultimately do the film in and it splinters apart like the train Colter’s on. And while the story by its very nature is repetitive, at least its returns to the attack were interesting and not merely rehashes (unlike, say, in Vantage Point). Gyllenhaal fares better here than he did in Prince of Persia — another movie where he’s able to relive past events, but now with advantageous information gleaned from having already lived through them.

Gyllenhaal brings sincerity and warmth to his role, but his conviction only helps the movie so far before it ultimately buckles under the weight of its plot mechanics. Full review here.

I think the nature of those two reviews just explained why I don’t react to Source Code the way I oughto react. Ebert is a film critic. IGN is a video game information repository. I’m a video gamer, not a film buff. (Though I generally agree with Ebert’s reviews, I’d have to deconstruct what he meant by “forgive the preposterous because it takes you to the perplexing”.) So I suppose we need to take this fact into consideration if we plan to take my review seriously. Hehe. =^.^=


  1. MrsMartinez

    April 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    hmmm kakauwi ko lang. I watched this movie kanina sa Rockwell, medyo naguluhan ako lalo na sa ending. DH was explaining to me what happened in the end which is not exactly the end haha magulo noh?!

  2. skysenshi

    April 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Yeah. My brother din was explaining pero hindi pa rin eh. Haha!

  3. John Ray Cabrera

    April 21, 2011 at 2:29 am

    from a scientific point of view, the movie is revolving around a preposterous concept. for one, you can never go back to the past and change it by altering your consciousness. time is a different dimension in the cosmic component of time-space continuum. consciousness is a self-imposed halo of thought and has nothingnto do with the forces of the universe. second, time is always moving forward because the universe is always exponentially expanding. you can't go back to the past using the same vector tx. you will just encounter quantum feedback, or paradoxes. there is one mathematician Kurt Goedel who proposed that time has whirlpools that wraps around itself, and the universe is moving like a rotating fluid. however that can only be understood at a universe with many layers, much like multiverses, or once huge universe with many paraboles of existence, so that vector tx has the same value as vector ty but not necessarily equal. i wish i can explain all these in a whiteboard with equations.

  4. skysenshi

    April 21, 2011 at 3:01 am

    “for one, you can never go back to the past and change it by altering your consciousness.”

    “you can't go back to the past using the same vector tx.”

    Exactly why I was scratching my head in wonder. =D
    Plus, it violates the grandfather paradox.

  5. John Ray Cabrera

    April 21, 2011 at 4:58 am

    hahahaha… grandfather paradox. that's so textbook physics. but it is the universally used paradox of all time. in my class, i am using a different paradox actually, a mad scientist paradox that revolves on the idea of him going back to the past and shooting himself, so the question “who fired the shot in the first place” remained… well… a paradoxical question. 🙂

  6. skysenshi

    April 21, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Re: grandfather paradox. Yep! It's the most basic of all the time travel paradoxes so if I can't see it there…that's like. Hm. It's like how do you get to the pythagorean theorem without being grounded in basic MDAS rules first?

    Ooh, I'd be interested in learning about your mad scientist paradox haha!

  7. Glenn Ong

    April 22, 2011 at 4:12 am

    I agree na medyo magulo yung last, but I think it was his personal heaven – he was able to spend time with the girl, the knew na hindi matatanggal yung policewoman sa job niya, etc. Pero overall, I liked the movie 🙂

  8. skysenshi

    April 22, 2011 at 4:25 am

    It has that nostalgic goofy-love-love feeling to it, no? I noticed Jake Gyllenhaal's recent movies have that feel, even Prince of Persia. Haha!

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