Every so often, I can’t help but wonder what some of my favorite television shows would look like if they were movies. Unfortunately, the shows I like tend to stay on the air for only a season, two if they’re lucky. As such, one could imagine my surprise when I saw the trailer for “Source Code,” which looks to be a Wachowski Brothers re-imagining of the short lived television show “Seven Days.”
“Source Code” — directed by Duncan Jones, aka David Bowie’s son — stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Captain Colter Stevens (how heroic sounding!) who is tasked to join a government program to find a bomb planted on a train. Sounds simple enough, right? If this played out in the Seven Days universe, Lieutenant (and chrononaut) Frank B. Parker (played by Jonathan LaPaglia) would get his orders from Project Backstep, suit up, step into the Sphere and go backwards in time seven days to find the bomber and the bomb. Zowie Bowie must have been a fan, because that’s basically what happens here, except with a twist.. You may want to sit down for this.
Stevens travels back through time … by being able to download himself into any of the passengers for eight minutes, the last eight minutes of their lives, as many times as it takes for him to get the job done, and maybe save the life of a passenger who is technically already dead with whom he wants to settle down and have kids. Two words immediately come to mind: causal loop.
Now, on a cursory glance, this is the most hackneyed, blasé, unoriginal sci-fi movie put up in a long time. Body-swapping, who does that anymore? However, because of the way Jones and writer Ben Ripley have set up the bomb, there’s just enough to make picky cinema-goers like myself look their way. Plus, the special effects look good and Gyllenhaal, who is already not my favorite actor, doesn’t seem to do anything that would make me dislike him any further. All in all, it looks to be a movie that would possibly make a good Saturday matinee.
Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga and Jeffery Wright also star in this techno-thriller, opening April 1 (no joke).
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