Source Code

This mind-bending drama is gripping, puzzling, thrilling, sometimes funny, and completely comprehensible. Director Duncan Jones, who enthralled me with "Moon" a few years ago, worked with science fiction writer Ben Ripley to give us decent people to care about, a "Groundhog Day" type plot and a frantic race against the clock (the same eight minutes, over and over!).

The opening credits are wonderful aerial shots of Chicago and the surrounding countryside. I don't think I have ever been treated to such beautiful views of that area before. I was almost reluctant to join this cast:
  • Jake Gyllenhaal ("Love and Other Drugs") plays a wounded helicopter pilot who wakes up on a train conversing with a young woman who seems to know him. He is disoriented, upset and angry...until the train blows up, killing everyone on board.
  • Michelle Monaghan ("Eagle Eye") is the pleasant young woman who wants to establish a meeting of the minds with this guy who can't seem to focus...the first time...or the second...
  • Vera Farmiga ("Up in the Air") plays an officer assigned to work with our hero on the Source Code, a military experiment which captures the last eight minutes of a person's brain waves.
  • Jeffrey Wright ("Cadillac Records") is the brilliant scientist who has developed this secret process as a possible way to prevent terrorist attacks.
In my opinion, Mr. Gyllenhaal can now be viewed as a real actor. Based on this outing and a couple of his previous ones, I am prepared to over- look some of his more egregious appearances ("Prince of Persia" any- one?). His character's wrenching telephone call to his father settled it for me. Whew!

Be prepared for frantic action, no profanity, no sweaty bodies and LOTS of blowie uppie stuff! Oh, and remember to suspend disbelief.