Saturday, 16 April 2011
REVIEW: SOURCE CODE
The source of Jake Gyllenhaal's career second-wind.
12A, 94 Minutes. Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga & Jeffrey Wright. Directors: Duncan Jones. Screenplay: Ben Ripley
Throughout Jake Gyllenhaal's career he has shown glimpses of just how great he can really be (see 'Donnie Darko', 'Zodiac', 'Jarhead' and of course 'Brokeback Mountain') but until recently Maggie's brother has been out the limelight a little. That was until last year however when he became the 'Prince Of Persia' and made the highest rom-com of last year with Anne Hathaway ('Love & Other Drugs'). Now to start off this year comes one of the best sci-fi thrillers in years, as Gyllenhaal goes into the 'Source Code' to re-wire his career and propel him towards the status as one of the better leading men in the Hollywood game.
Directed brilliantly by Duncan Jones (the son of David Bowie and the man who brought the bright side of cinema with 'Moon'),'Source Code' sees Gyllenhaal's character (Captain Colter Stevens) waking up on a train he shouldn't be on next to a women he doesn't know (Michelle Monaghan). As he tries to figure out what's going on and why he looks like a third-grade teacher...BOOM!! The train blows up and Captain Jake finds himself in a capsule taking orders from Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright. Gylenhaal is in the source code, which is a program that allows the user to take over someones body in their last eight minutes of life. Gyllenhaal's job is to to find the source of the bomb that blew up the train he was on through the code of Monaghan's teacher friend, Sean Fentress, a body whose his type matches.
So expect a 'Groundhog Day' type set of scenes as Gyleenhaal revisits the past more times then Doc Brown, taking a 'Quantum Leap' through time and very clever pop culture references. Despite the nature of this movie it doesn't feel repetitive. It's gripping and compelling and even though no ideas original these days...including this one, it's still refreshing and different. The classic city of Chicago looks incredible, despite being in peril, while the great mix of romance and tension is captured perfectly on screen in the small confined setting. Think 'Collateral', but with more twists and turns and even more unwanted passengers as the train and the plot hurtle towards a thrilling, climatic third act.
Gyleenhaal is perfect in this movie leading the story and his career into brilliant new places. In his early 30's Jake is really finding himself as an actor and making the most of his time and the opportunities to change things...just like his character in this film. After her 'Due Date', Michelle Monaghan is also the ideal companion in this journey as Gyleenhaal's love and link to reality interest. Also Jeffrey Wright is peculiarly perfect as the source codes developer. While George Clooney's other friend, Vera Farmiga is the right support for Gyleenhaal's character, even though she is only linked to him via console.
Overall 'Source Code' will develop to become one of the best thrillers of this year and one of it's leads most foremost performances. Mixing genres and throwback themes this train thriller still stays on the right track, now thats talking the right programming language. With great special effects and a heart-warming nature, this film gives that typical Hollywood shine to ordinary, everyday people, showing just how special this story really is. Using little groundwork this groundbreaking movie makes the most of everything and with the ever-improving Gyllenhaal at the source this movie speaks the right code. TIM DAVID HARVEY.