Monday, May 02, 2011
#112: Source Code
Science fiction is a bloody difficult genre to make movies for because at some level the writer asks a viewer to suspend reality and embrace something hitherto unheard or unseen. The genre is such that only a thin line divides a story that's stays believable and one that becomes laughable. Source Code is a story that can't help but be the latter. Let me elaborate. Source Code is supposed to be a period of eight minutes whereby a half-dead person can reassign time in the past into doing something else but cannot actually prevent something from happening. If this sounds confusing, you're let known by the end of the movie that the person who invented Source Code in the movie actually got it all wrong. Asking you once - laughable or believable ?
Source Code has it's own source code (read the script) going haywire after a strikingly ominous beginning filled with suspense and intrigue. Jake Gyllenhal is Captain Stevens, an officer who served in Afghanistan, and who now finds himself awake in a rackety metal enclosure. He can't remember how he got into this enclosure and is only left with a TV screen to communicate with Commander Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) and her boss Rutledge (Jeffery Wright). Stevens doesn't know Goodwin but keeps agreeing to the task Goodwin has set for him while trying to find his own identity. Rutledge works for US military and is the inventor of this program called Source Code and Stevens is his guinea pig.
What seems like an interesting premise gives way to gaping holes in the script that could perhaps have been used better as a golf course. I do not intend to spend much time on this review so I will leave you with just one gem which is the basis of all the action in the movie. There is a character in the movie who goes about planting bombs in Chicago and Jake has to prevent him from doing any damage to the city. When pushed into a corner, you get to know that his is a one line motive - 'The world can be made better but first it has to be turned into rubble.'. Asking you again- laughable or believable ?
One can't take away the fact that with a stirring background score and some good-looking photography, Source Code pretends to be intelligent. (Not to mention throwing in lines with "parabolic calculus' in between.) It's lasting memory that will stay with you, however, is that this is a script that's as hare-brained as any in recent history. It's a joke that the movie is rated a 7.8 on Imdb. If making incredulous movies can be made to pass off as good cinema, it is time I start working on a script that will have as it's protagonist a one-eyed turtle who will compete in 2012 Olympics against Usain Bolt because of a special in-built computer program called- 'Duh Code'.