Sunday, 28 August 2011

Saves everyone, kisses the girl, goes somewhere else

These days it's a rare film that makes me want to write one of these blog posts. It's got to have ideas that interest me - something that makes me want to fill a paragraph. Source Code is one of these good films. You might already know the premise. A man has to re-live the last eight minutes of someone else's life over and over, each time getting closer to a bomber on a train. And in a way, that's the boring bit. Question asked. Mystery solved. As he goes over it he gets to know the sequence of events and works out who the bad guy is. The interesting part is, that in this big budget thriller, there's all these big ideas. Is it possible to create a parallel world where everything's different? He knows these eight minutes are just a projection, but if he saves everyone, gets off the train, kisses the girl, goes somewhere else - he might be able to carry on. With this question the film can go anywhere. It can pull the plug or go with it. Even before it gets there it's engrossing. The structure of this repeated scene doesn't get old. Each time he tries to break it, push the boundaries and do something else. 'What would you do if you knew you only had a few seconds left to live?' This is a film that can get away with that question.

It's not as mind-squeezing as Inception or an episode of Moffat Doctor Who. Still good though. Sometimes less mind-squeeze is a good thing. Duncan Jones is turning out to be a director worth watching. This and Moon show that science-fiction is about the big ideas. The same big ideas that don't age, that are universal, and create a different place. More films like this should be made. It would keep me watching them.


  1. I must admit to thinking this rather ordinary! But I absolutely agree with about Moon!! Now that was a very good sci-fi movie that was original and had a good surprise twist that worked. I have yet to read anything really negative about it.

  2. Ordinary? No no. I'll have a look at your review.