A few years ago a micro-budget sci-fi flick came out that basically reinvigorated the genre, while paying homage to past classics and treating the audience to Sam Rockwell starring opposite Sam Rockwell. The movie is Moon and it was the first feature film of Duncan Jones, successful commercial director across the pond and son of David Bowie. One of the most visually stunning films of the last decade, if you haven’t seen Moon yet, check it out on DVD today. With such a critically acclaimed first film (90% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes), the pressure is on Jones’ sophomore effort, Source Code, a high-concept sci-fi tinged character-driven action thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga.
Source Code breaks the laws of physics while delivering its message of self-determination and redemption and veers toward the overly sentimental in its celebration of the human spirit. It also probably spent more on the opening scenes of the Chicago skyline than the entire budget of Moon. But, big budgets don’t always add up to good cinema and while Source Code doesn’t achieve the magic of Moon, the film’s diverse inspirations from Hitchcock to Quantum Leap and its exceptional structure and performances thankfully puts Jones out of the realm of “One Hit Wonder.” Maybe the best parts about Source Code are all the awesome things I had to leave out of this review so as not to ruin things for you, fair readers. There is so much more to delve into with this film, a rare phenomenon lately.