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The film tells the tale of a man (Jake Gyllenhall), who wakes up on a train. He has no idea why he's there or who the woman across from him is. As he's trying to get things sorted out, an explosion goes off, killing everyone. He then comes to inside a capsule where it's explained to him that the train was blown up in a terrorist bombing. The terrorist was kind enough to do a practice run and apparently plans to detonate a dirty bomb in Chicago. Due to some sort of "quantum" effect he can "leap" into the body of a man who died on the train and live out his last eight minutes of life. Doing that will, with luck, enable him to find the bomber.
If it's a premise that sounds familiar, that's because it is. It's perhaps no surprise that Scott Bakula's voice turns up in a cameo during the movie, since it clearly owes a lot to his most famous work. In fact, it's basically Quantum Leap mashed-up with Groundhog Day while managing to be better than the first and at least as engaging as the second.
There was really nothing I disliked about this film. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's the best film I've seen so far this year, and, sadly, will likely be the best science fiction film for quite some time.
The story borders on the obtuse: a device has been invented by Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright) that can maintain a person in a state of recall much the way a light bulb has a glow after it has been extinguished. Rutledge has placed helicopter pilot Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), who is missing in action in Afghanistan, in a capsule that is capable, under the direction of military officer Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), of projecting Stevens onto a train entering Chicago that has been planted with a bomb in order to discover the perpetrator who is apparently planning another bomb that will decimate the city of Chicago. It is a back and forth series of 8 minute exercises, each time Stevens relives the moments before a bomb detonation and gradually learns the the device and its owner. On board the train he meets Christina (Michelle Monaghan) who 'sees' Stevens as her boyfriend Sean and during these repeat flashbacks Stevens and Christina form a bond that makes Stevens re-think his 'purpose' in this military gimmicky.
*In the hands of the wrong people this little venture would seem trite and silly, but with this crew of creators it becomes a puzzle that touches on tension, fear, humor, and warmth. That is what a superb cast can do with any material, but with this particular strange tale it works perfectly. Grady Harp, July 11
The story is complex and emotional. It lets Jake's character expand and deepen, and the supporting cast is great. The special effects are well done, and the whole tone keeps you on the edge of your seat. Surprisingly, there is no campy dialogue (something I was expecting from the previews) and it is actually a superb script, making conversations interesting, and later scenes racked with emotion.
The whole movies is very great, leaving you excited by its presentation and quality in every aspect in it. The idea to replay a scene over and over again is executed really well, and makes the film very exciting. It is the first truly great film of 2011. I recommend it, to everyone.
It's hard to describe this film without giving too much away. The main character (Jake Gyllenhall) has been given the ability to go back in time over and over again, for only 8 minutes a pop, in order to stop the train he is riding on from blowing up. There is a lot more to it than that of course. The government is behind the mission and the time traveling technology and there are many other twist and turns along the way, so I won't go into heavy detail here.
The cast is good, but it doesn't feature a standout performance like the one Sam Rockwell gave in Moon. Then again, the clever script doesn't call for a one man show this time around.
I was pleasantly surprised with this sci-fi/thriller/mystery hybrid. It's worth a trip to the theater or a future rental at the very least. Source Code is something along the lines of what Alfred Hitchcock might be making if he was around today.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I didn't know what the movie was about. It has a good outcome. I loved it!Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
satisfying sci-fi time travel movie. great performances, direction, and writing. solid filmPublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
Plot was a bit vague. Just came for Jake Gyllenhaal and I wasn't disappointed.Published 9 days ago by Robert Johnson