Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Source Code

Sci-fi used to be a dirty word amongst the general cinema-going populace, connotated with images like this:

However, ever since Zowie Bowie's (aka Duncan Jones, but I refuse to call him by his 'normal' name) directorial debut, Moon, hit cinemas in 2008, Sci-Fi has been going through somewhat of a renaissance period of late. From Nolan's Inception last year to Burger's Limitless released a couple of weeks ago, we have been spoilt with some very interesting reinventions of the contemporary Sci-Fi movie. Lucky for us, Zowie is now back with his difficult 2nd album; Source Code - a high concept, big budget Sci-Fi thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Some might scoff and cough the words 'sell out', but this is by no means the dumb Hollywood produced mess that you might be expecting.

Using science we can see how the modern Sci-Fi movies weigh up.

An on form Gyllenhaal plays Colter Stevens, a military helicopter pilot who mysteriously wakes up on train to Chicago. His confusion is only short lived, however, as the train quickly erupts into a ball of flames, which then reveals his true location: a secret military bunker with no means of escape. To go into much more detail would spoil the excellently paced drip-fed plot, but rest assured, things are explained with [fairly] logical conclusions.

Zowie has created an extremely tight and ambitious film that crosses a multiple of genres; from thriller, to Sci-Fi, to comedy, to romance. The comparisons with Moon are quite apparent but not over-whelming: main male protagonist finding himself in a bizarre scenario with a clear desire to escape the controlling forces that be. But there is much more of a central romance theme in this film, and thanks to Michelle Monoghan it is startlingly real and compelling - regardless of the shallow set-up. I feel if this film was left up to a more 'traditional' director, the romance would have be sidelined for a more action packed (and probably shite) affair.

The ending might implode from cheating the very laws the film sets out to establish, but only a true Sci-Fi geeks will turn away in disgust. The film deserves such a finale - no matter which way you look at it.

1 comment:

  1. I'd agree that sci-fi has taken off and Moon is definitely a good example, but for me you can't beat the classics like Logan's Run. I like them for their comedy value