Source Code

Gill and I went to see the movie Source Code today.  I thought it was pretty good.  Granted most of the elements in it I’ve seen elsewhere in other movies or video games.  Assassin’s Creed comes to mind for the core plot element, but from there it branches out into something more akin to a Twilight Zone or Outer Limit episode.

That said, I thought it was a good enjoyable movie that, while feeling familiar, was unique enough to stand out on its own.  And while it reminds me of an episode of the Twilight Zone in terms of structure, it doesn’t feel in any way like a half hour episode stretched out to two hours. The pacing and storytelling were spot on.

I enjoyed the movie immensely, but I found myself thinking as a writer the happy ending given wasn’t right for it.  There was a moment fifteen minutes before the end that was beautiful and bitter sweet and would have been far better a place to end the film.  This is unusual for me because I am a sucker for happy endings.

It’s not like the one here felt tacked on or forced, per se.  There’s foreshadowing and everything needed not to feel like a cheat.  It’s just that the bittersweet ending would have been better, stronger, and had more meaning to it.  It was a mistake not to go with it, no matter how much my heart prefers the happily ever after.

My enjoyment of the film isn’t too surprising when you realize the director is Duncan Jones, who also directed one of my favorite SF movies – Moon (though he didn’t write it).  What is surprising is that there is only one writing credit – Ben Ripley.  Because of the ending problem I mentioned, I thought I had smelled a re-write by a second team, but it seems I’m wrong.

Ben Ripley’s greatest claim to fame before this were two Species sequels (ugh!).

Ben Ripley shows off the poster for the first movie he can admit to writing.

Way to shake off that past shame, dude!  Be proud of this one.

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2 thoughts on “Source Code

  1. Nice review. I am curious to see this and I too loved MOON. This film feels a bit like a paycheck film so that Jones can do a more personal project next with a bigger budget.

  2. I don’t see it as a paycheck film, but I do see it as something meant to give him more mainstream clout for his next project for sure.

    Moon tapped into every hard SF convention there was to create something new and memorable that talks about the human condition. In a very real way I see Source Code following that tradition. There are plenty of Twilight Zone/Outer Limits conventions used, but again it creates something new and memorable that ultimately talks about the human condition.

    Let me know what you think, I’ll be curious to hear your opinion.

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