Source Code [Blu-Ray] Duncan Jones

Source Code [Blu-Ray] Duncan Jones
"It's more important for me to know more about how it works than the audience. Trust me, it works." So says director Duncan Jones in the enhanced viewing mode for this brain tickling science fiction thriller. With his atmospheric and intelligent debut, Moon, Jones earned a great deal of faith from audiences hungry for sharp science around a warm core of character drama. With Source Code, he proves that faith wasn't misplaced. Granted, you can feel that this is more a professional job than a personal one for Jones, but the meticulous attention to detail proves the talented director takes great interest in his profession and aims to deliver outside of work he also scripts. So, what's this film about? Well, the more I beat around the bush about plot specifics, the more you're going to get out of Source Code. Not content to save twists until the ending, Ben Ripley's script regularly navigates unexpected turns that have seldom been well-explored prior in cinema. Just the basics then: Jake Gyllenhaal plays Colter Stevens, a military pilot who wakes up on a train, inhabiting the body of another man. A woman he seems to be casual acquaintances with jokes about finding herself, coffee is spilt on Colter's shoe, some other stuff happens and the train blows up. That's the first time through an eight-minute window that Colter must re-experience in order to figure out who's responsible for the bombing. There's a heck of a lot more going on than that, but you'll thank yourself for going in cold. Jones does an admirable job keeping the perspective fresh throughout all the repetitions, taking Colter down many paths ― some similar, some divergent ― that make the most of the limited settings. And, damn, can the man ever find beautiful ways of filming the same explosion. He's equally adept developing a credible emotional rapport between Colter and the woman played by Michelle Monaghan (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) entirely through the way Colter's attitude towards her is shaped by experiences she has no knowledge of. Vera Farmiga and Jeffrey Wright also work well within the limitations set upon their characters, with the tender but disconnected rapport between Farmiga's Colleen Goodwin and Gyllenhaal's confused protagonist being especially well developed. In both the feature commentary with Jones, Gyllenhaal and Ripley, and the interview segments in the enhanced viewing mode (which is expertly designed, for a pleasant change), Jones is particularly well spoken and candid about his craft and interpretation of the story, revealing that some especially delicious moral implications of the science were largely his doing. A theoretical physicist pops up frequently to validate and explain the science employed, though he does get a bit redundant. It would be nice to have something on Chris Bacon's appropriately nerve-jangling score, deleted scenes or technical breakdowns of some of the trickier camera work and effects, but Jones is more interested in presenting and discussing concepts than revealing his bag of tricks. It may skimp on rounding out certain motivations, but Source Code effectively poses a splintering thought experiment that celebrates science while entertaining with fiction. (eOne)