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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: May 15: Source Code


May 15: Source Code

"An action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he's part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train."

Imagine, if you will, instead of time traveling, scientists invent something called "time reassignment" where you can go back to a particular event, in this case a terrorist attack, to uncover clues and find out who is responsible. That's the premise of Source Code, an excellent sci-fi thriller directed by Duncan Jones, the genius who gave us Moon (which I now want to see again and review). Jake Gyllennnahahaal stars as Colter Stevens, a man, who under mysterious circumstances, has himself re-living the same eight minutes before a train explodes. The catch however, is that the events on the train have already happened and no matter what he does, the bomb on the train will detonate. He simply (psh, if only it was that easy) has to use whatever resources he can to find out who planted the bomb. It's a mixture of Minority Report and Groundhog Day, with absolutely no Bill Murray. 

Or this guy*. Who pops up in every damn thing you see. 

The best part of Source Code is the story. It's incredibly original and makes you think, something movies really don't even try to do anymore. It's fast-paced and full of suspense, and never stops being interesting. It's refreshing to see a new story with a terrific execution. Source Code has great special effects that remind you of it's sci-fi elements and shows you that Jones can handle a larger budget (thank God). Gyllennnahahaal is great in his role. His charisma and likability adds much more emotion to the film and seeing him struggling to solve the "case" lets you sympathize in his frustration. After watching Source Code, I can now forgive him for The Prince of Persia

Muscles and a British "accent" can't polish a turd.

Overall, I would highly recommend Source Code. It's a thinking man's (or woman's) movie and, if can keep up with it, it's very rewarding. Duncan Jones gives me so much hope in his future and I cannot wait to see what he makes next. With a terrific story, great special effects, and good acting from its small cast, Source Code is worth the watch. It also makes you wonder how different things would be if something similar to the Source Code technology ever found its way into existence. Sherlock Holmes, Batman, Columbo, and The Great Mouse Detective would all be lining up at the unemployment offices. F**k that, Batman would find awesome-er shit to do. 

The Good:
terrific special effects that heighten the story, not distract you from the plot (see Transformers, Avatar)
The Better:
Jake Gyllennnahahaal reminding us he can actually act... well
The Best:
an amazing story that's both original and smart that doesn't insult the audience's intelligence

Overall: 8.8/10


*This guy is actually Stephen Tobolowsky, who's not only in everything, but one hell of a guy. He has a running podcast series on /Film, and you'll learn a lot about a lot of things if you sit and listen. 

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