I was really looking forward to heading to the cinema to see Duncan Jones 2nd film Source Code. His first film Moon is a fantastic story told in a very limited setting, presenting a story that gives you a lot to think over and consider after the film has finished. While Jones wrote and directed Moon, he’s only directing Source Code but you can see that he has chosen his material carefully to ensure that it plays to his strengths.
Like Moon, Source Code plays to a strong sense of paranoia and mystery – when the film starts, like the main character you are thrown into the situation with little explanation as to what is actually happening. This is good taking you on the same journey of discovery the main character takes, allowing you to ask the same questions and to ponder the same clues.
The story (which I don’t want to give too much away of) moves along at a cracking speed, flipping between two distinct situations but never really becoming stale (which is good given the highly repetitive nature of parts of the plot). A lot of effort has been made so at the points where the story appears to reoccur differences are made each time, the little details building to form a larger picture which is pleasingly complex but simple enough to follow at the same time.
Given the key plot elements of the film involve some quite complex science behind them this is explained/not explained in a good manner – the film doesn’t make an effort to explain the science going on behind the scenes, leading to the technologies you see being used, at the same time it doesn’t try and gloss over them with a bit of techno-blabble – the things you need to know for the story to make sense are clearly and concisely explained, everything on top of that is deemed unnecessary so kept to the side of the unfolding human drama that is the main part of the film.
I did feel that there were a couple of problems with the film, I had my normal problem that stems from Murder mysteries where I seem to be able to say whodunit the moment the character appears on screen – though this didn’t diminish from my enjoyment of the film. I know some reviews have talked about plot holes within the film but I didn’t notice anything finding the ending was left in such a way to provide different theories and explanations – but most of all make you think in the way a good sci-fi film should. I feel I should add that there was a part of the ending that just didn’t really quite right with the rest of the film – you’ll know when you see it, a point where it felt like it should’ve stopped yet carries on for another 10 minutes or so… Still this is by no means a major flaw.
So, a rewarding experience that’s not afraid to challenge you to push your boundaries and make you think. It’s great to see Duncan Jones being given a bigger film to sink his teeth into, and hopefully this is just the sign of bigger and better things to come.