Phil Connors Would Approve
If you’re scratching your head about who the hell Phil Connors is then you REALLY don’t know how to use the internet. I mean, come on guys! How do you think I got that name? Back to the point. Phil Connors is the name of Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day, the cult classic comedy about a meteorologist who is sent to Punxsutawney to cover weather(haha) or not the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, sees his shadow.
Source Code is a lot like Groundhog Day in the sense that Capt. Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is transported to a frame of time over and over throughout the film. Unlike Groundhog Day, where Phil Connors relives the same day over and over, Colter Stevens only has the same 8 minutes. Part of the joy of the movie is learning exactly how the source code actually works, so I’ll leave you with that(plus, there’s a video below that explains it better than I would).
- The cast really shows up and does a great job in this. I’m not normally a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, but he does a great job repeating the same sequence as many times as he does yet still making it interesting. Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright are all great, as they usually tend to be.
- That brings us to the writing. There’s a very large chance of a movie that shows the same sequence multiple times sucking or just getting boring, but it never does. The writing pushes Stevens to do things each time that either result in a different outcome, or are just different enough to keep things fresh.
- When your film features science so intriguing that Michio Kaku is going to talk about it, you just earned yourselves a bullet(the good kind) my friends! (Don’t forget to watch that video below, because Mr. Kaku is in it).
- The story and writing are great, but even if you buy into the mythos of the film it feels like it’s all built on a house of cards. How did they get the access to the last 8 minutes of the mind Stevens inhabits? Wouldn’t they not just need them to be a close match, but have access to the guy on the train’s brain? They never mention whether or not they do, but it doesn’t seem like they did.
Source Code is a very good movie, very good. Is it great? No, it falls short of greatness. I wouldn’t rank it as high as Duncan Jone’s last film Moon, but it’s a damn fine sophomore film. You should still definitely see Source Code, because it is the best movie of the year so far.