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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Source Code repeats time but has fresh plot twists

By Frankie Farrar-Helm/entertainment editor

If there is anything viewers will walk away with after seeing Source Code, it’s this: Life is short — make every second count.

In the case of Army Capt. Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), he has only eight minutes, or 480 seconds, to save the lives of hundreds.

In the movie Source Code, Colter Stevens, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, works diligently to prevent an active bomb from blowing up a Chicago commuter train.
Photo courtesy Summit Entertainment

Finding himself in the body of a civilian named Sean Fentress on a Chicago-bound train, Stevens is engaged in conversation by the woman sitting across from him named Christina (Michelle Monaghan). Eight minutes later, the train blows up, and Stevens wakes up in a dark, metallic chamber. Immediately, a military officer named Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) appears on a screen inside the chamber, asking him if he found the bomber.

Puzzled, Stevens is told he is uploaded into a program called the Source Code, developed by Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright). The governmental experiment allows someone with specific qualifications to relive the last eight minutes of a person’s life — in this case, Fentress’ life — and change the course of events. Fentress was on a Chicago train earlier that morning, which exploded, killing him and everyone on board. Stevens is ordered to use the Source Code to find the bomber before the next predicted terrorist attack occurs.

A trial-and-error rescue mission begins. Every eight-minute session that Stevens has to fulfill his task is spent wisely, using every second he has to his advantage.

Confused? Don’t worry. Stevens is too.

The science-fiction film contains two diverse settings. Inside the Source Code, Stevens has to track down the bomber. Outside the Source Code, he has to figure out what happened to him before the program, where he is and why he is there.

Though the action-packed flick has a gripping plot, Source Code’s major downfall is its failure to explain sufficiently the parameters of the hypothetical, time-travel-like experiment.

Gyllenhaal, who has the natural save-the-world charm to fit his soldier character, delivers one of his best performances to date.

Monaghan, whose character remains relatively stagnant throughout the film, will likely not receive the same amount of credit as Gyllenhaal but brings a satisfying performance.

Despite the film’s many complicated obstacles, Source Code takes viewers on an unexpected twisted journey, bringing them to the edge of their seats. Some viewers may not like the twists and turns, but they can’t deny the originality it offers.

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