“What would you do if you knew you only had less than one minute to life?” My answer would probably revolved around praying that whatever awaits me (and there will) in the after-life would go easy on me. Definitely not as, well, poetic as the answer given by the chick played by Michelle Monaghan in this film.
“Source Code,” I think, employs one of the easiest, yet also one of my favorite way of storytelling. Put the audience, along with its main character, right in the middle of action, stripped the initial knowledge of events both from us and from its main character, and build up from there. If the hook is bitten, then the audience is successfully engaged, embedding them to its main character, and the film would be significantly more interesting to watch. Much like when you read a particularly good book and just can’t wait to flip into the next chapter. Of course, if you’re late, and/or losing interest after a few scenes, the rest of the film wouldn’t even mattered anymore. So that’s your benchmark, there.
Quoting from its brief description, “Source Code” in “An action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he’s a part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.” It has a sort of sci-fi element thrown in, but of a minimal dose that I don’t think that even the least attentive viewer would have a problem of wrapping her head around its very idea. Sure, the conclusion may a bit of a Möbius strip, but honestly, to labeling it at such, is actually an over-thinking. For most, it’s the urgency of things in this film that is really mattered. And at that, this film should be treated as an action thriller. A good one.
This is Duncan Jones’ second feature and I’m already taking notes on his future projects. I liked how he tackled the repetitive elements in this film. It had kept me from boredom, and I think it should be on you, as well. His first film, “Moon,” is decidedly harder to digest but also offers a more rewarding experience. There is also a similar semblance between the two films in which that there’s a repetitive element in both films, but where one element in “Moon” is moving straight forward, the very same element is being looped on this film. Oh, okay, I’m saying too much already.
Of the acting front, I’ve got no complaints. This kind of film had a fairly low threshold on what to expect from its actors anyway. The urgency, the visuals, the “science” element, would be more than enough to keep you entertained. Again, given that you don’t lose interest on the first few scenes.
Conclusion. With no other decent film released in the theater here in Indonesia (due to a tax case involving nearly all film distributors in the country, preventing from importing most films, including “Thor”), to opt for this film in an upcoming long weekend is a no-brainer. Of course, given you could bear the sorry sight of our cineplexes. I mean, the sights of deserted alley, the old movie posters, the staffs with their forced smiles, unsuccessfully masking their inner worries, that makes me sad every time I went to cineplexes nowadays. Rating: *** / ****