Blu-ray review: Source Code

DUNCAN JONES got everyone talking with his brilliant debut, Moon. Following that up was definitely going to be a tough task.

With Source Code, he again takes an original story – a rarity in Hollywood currently – and crafts something very impressive.

Now, the sci-fi-cum-thriller-cum-drama is set for release on Blu-ray, and it’s a must for fans of the format.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Captain Colter Stevens, a US soldier who becomes the guinea pig for the latest military experiment – the Source Code of the title.

After a terrorist blows up a Chicago-bound commuter train, with designs on unleashing more death and destruction in the city at some point in the future, Stevens wakes up on the train just eight minutes before the bomb is detonated.

But things aren’t as they seem for the soldier. For one, he’s sitting facing a strange woman who is talking to him like she knows him – Christina (Michelle Monaghan). And secondly, he’s not in his own body. He’s someone else.

After the initial confusion, which ends with the train exploding, he is transported back to a pod where he is strapped into a chair and being spoken to, via a screen, by Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga).

He’s informed that, through the Source Code, he is being sent back in time just eight minutes and must discover who the bomber is in a bid to prevent the city attack from taking place.

What follows is a frantic race against time to find the culprit and have him arrested – with a few neat twists and turns along the way.

As with Moon, Jones has created something that isn’t quite as it seems with a style and panache that has him earmarked as one to keep an eye on with future projects.

Gyllenhaal is, as always, reliable and likeable as Stevens playing a man who’ll go that extra mile for those he cares about. And Monaghan is quickly becoming a top young actress.

The chemistry between the two develops well as Stevens begins to have feelings for this girl he didn’t even know just eight minutes ago. Meanwhie, Farmiga is great as the conduit between Stevens and Source Code creator Dr Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright).

Visually, Source Code looks lovely on Blu-ray with certain scenes becoming some of the most impressive onscreen effects this year – two spring to mind in particular that are gorgeous.

There are some flaws behind what the Source Code is, but in a film where a guy is thrown back in time repeatedly, these can be overlooked as just minor problems.

The extras are also great – from cast and crew discussing the science behind the Source Code to the main stars talking about their experiences working with Jones.

Overall, Source Code is an exhilarating ride by a director who knows how to make sci-fi fans suspend disbelief as they root for the heroes on screen. A definite must have for fans of the genre who like something a little more intelligent.

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