Posted on 4/05/11 12:49 PM
One reason I enjoyed this movie so much is that the plot reminds me of an extended Twilight Zone episode, where things are not always as they seem. Colter becomes very anxious when it is impossible to have his father contacted, and is not informed of what has happened to his Unit. Tension builds throughout the film, as he slowly learns (in the 8-minute window), of his personal life before this mission. Another way to describe the movie is to mix Avatar and Inception, except more original than Avatar, and somewhat simpler to understand than Inception.
Interactions between Colter and the train's riders are both entertaining and extremely awkward to watch, if you can imagine roughly confronting a stranger on terrorism grounds, in front of 50 other passengers. Jake Gyllenhaal shows fantastic range here, effortlessly portraying not just a man on a mission, but one with a soft side as well. What's interesting here is that he begins to fall in love with Christina, even though he only gets to know her for 8 minutes at a time while on the train, and she has known Sean Fentress for a long time, but now he has a new personality, via Colter Stevens.
This is only director Duncan Jones's second feature, after the much-acclaimed and smaller-budgeted 2009 film Moon. However, with these two movies alone, he has proved that he knows how to make a rich and emotionally satisfying science fiction story. I will be watching his career with much anticipation for similar efforts.