Source Code is Duncan Jones’s follow up film to Moon and he shows that given the right material, he is a great director. I am a big fan of Jones’s film Moon and Source Code does not disappoint. I don’t think the title of the film really does it any justice. The title makes this film seem like it is related to programming or some computer related hacking drama, it is not.
Source Code follows Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is in a capsule that is sending him back to the same eight-minute period of time in the past. The project that has tasked him to do this is named Source Code (why? I don’t know). His connection to the outside world and provider of information is Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), she reports to the project head Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright). Stevens is visiting an eight-minute period on a train and he must figure out the mystery of a bombing. There is a side story with Stevens' relationship with a passenger on the train (Michelle Monaghan).
It is hard to write more about the plot of the film because it will ruin the film. The film plays out like Groundhog Day, but is more tense and intriguing. The opening scene is a fantastic way of opening the film and drawing the audience in. I have seen this film twice and it gets better with each viewing as I know more about the story from the previous viewing.
Source Code is well worth at least one viewing. It is an intriguing film to watch.
There are a lot of theories on what is really happening in the film. Dr. Rutledge does not think that Colter is altering the timeline – and he has good reason since he is not seeing things change in his timeline. But, by the end of the film, it seems that things have been altered – or have they?
My thoughts are that each time that Colter enters the Source Code, he is actually creating a new “quantum” timeline that branches off. By the end, when he goes in for the last time, there is a moment when time freezes (in a nice Matrix-style freeze shot). That is the exact moment that Goodwin pulls the plug on Colter in the real world. It is at this moment that Colter’s consciousness enters the body of the man’s body he has been taking over. But, that leaves to question, what happened to that man? He’s not dead in that timeline, where did his consciousness go? Did it merge with Colters?
The ending of the film is quite good in that it leaves a lot for the audience to ponder after the credits start to roll, while at the same time ending on a satisfactory note.