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Review

Jake Gyllenhaal shines in new thriller ‘Source Code’

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April 14, 2011

Jake Gyllenhaal is back and is as good as ever in “Source Code.” He plays Colter Stevens, a former pilot in Afghanistan,  who has awoken on a commuter train under a different identity. As he tries to figure out who he is and what is going on, the train explodes; now Stevens awakes in a pod of some sorts. A screen turns on in the pod and he speaks with a woman named Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) to try and figure out what is going on. She informs him that he is able to go back eight minutes in time and now must use this in order to get back on the train and figure out how it exploded.

When he awakens again he is confronted by a woman sitting across from him (Michelle Monaghan) and now he must figure out not only what has made the train explode, but how all of this has happened to him. I am not big on spoilers so that is about all I can really say about the overall plot in the movie without giving away crucial information.  I can say that he meets Monaghan’s character numerous times and becomes more attracted to her each time.

Director Duncan Jones, who also directed “Moon,” brings us another film based to getting deep into the psyche of an individual. The numerous tests that Stevens must endure are not based around what he has to do physically but what he must do mentally. This is where “Source Code” really shines in being much more of a thriller than a science fiction film.  You get that emotional connection with the lead character, a lot of thanks to Gyllenhall for an amazing performance, and his struggle with what is going on around him. You begin to feel the same confusion he feels while trying to put together all the pieces to this mind-bending puzzle.

The mental anguish is not the only thing that pulls you into “Source Code,” but also the connection the supporting characters have with Stevens. All this culminates into the feel-good ending that everyone was hoping and expecting. The one thing that has left me frustrated with this movie is the ending. When I come out of a theater I should not need to have to ask questions to understand if the ending really makes sense or is even halfway plausible. I found myself doing this for about a half hour after leaving the theater until I finally fully understood what had happened. Even with this confusion it did not tarnish how I felt about what I had just watched, it is still a good thriller and a new concept lead by some good acting. If you’re heavy into thrillers that may leave you hanging, then “Source Code” is the movie for you.

Dustyn Dubuque is a history major and geography minor that has a love and passion for film. He watches over 100 films each year and loves Academy Awards season.