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. =^.^=