Source Code is one mind-bending ride you’ll want to take again and again

SOURCE CODE is the marvellously mind-bending new movie from Duncan Jones, the writer/director of the superbly original drama Moon.

Michelle Monaghan and Jake Gyllenhaal in Source Code

Michelle Monaghan as Christina and Jake Gyllenhaal as Colter Stevens

SOURCE CODE, the new movie from Duncan Jones, the director of the superbly original sci-fi drama Moon, is a hugely enjoyable and very clever thriller with action, mystery and more than a dash of Hitchcock thrown in.

A man wakes up on a commuter train not knowing where or who he is. There is a pretty girl sat across from him who seems to know him well. As the minutes’ tick by, he surveys the other passengers seated nearby. They’re a mixed bunch, some at first glance quite normal and some, perhaps more mysterious. Suddenly, a bomb explodes and everything stops and the man – a pilot we soon learn – finds himself in another place, trapped inside the wreckage of his helicopter, believing he is still on a combat mission in Afghanistan. What is going on? Well, Captain Colter Stevens is the pilot and his consciousness has been inserted into the body of the man on the train, Sean Fentress, as part of a government program called ‘SOURCE CODE’. This lets a person go back in time for just eight key minutes to specifically achieve a goal – like finding the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. And so the race to find the terrorist is on. But how many times can Colter go back in time before something happens to him in the present?

Jake Gyllenhaal as Colter and Vera Farmiga as Goodwin in Source Code

Colter tries to connect with Vera Farmiga’s Goodwin

Jones proved with Moon that he knows about great actors and following in the footsteps of the mercurial Sam Rockwell in that movie, he’s gathered together a top-flight cast here. I have been a fan of his work since the incredible Donnie Darko and so who else could portray the bright-as-a-button Captain Colter Stevens but the terrifically gifted Jake Gyllenhaal. Then, if you need a solid and focused actor to play Rutledge, the shadowy scientist behind the ‘SOURCE CODE‘, you can do no better than the excellent Jeffrey Wright.

And although I very much liked the interplay between Colter and Christina, the girl on the train (nicely played by Michelle Monaghan) I found the real humdinger of a relationship in the film was between Colter and the initially by-the-book but increasingly empathetic Air Force Captain Colleen Goodwin, played with real subtlety and grace by Vera Farmiga. Although never in the same room together, theirs became the strongest connection in the movie for me. Want to know more? Then get ready for a mind-bending ride when you see the film.

With its mixture of action, romance and intelligent story-telling, SOURCE CODE will certainly reward repeat viewings and so make sure you catch it. And what’s next, Mr Jones?