Duncan Jone's "Source Code" is a sci-fi romantic drama that moves at a surprisingly slow pace for a film with guns and explosions, but is nevertheless very entertaining. Its story is original, its human without sentimentality, and its engaging, and while it doesn't make you think like the other movies it gets compared to (Inception, for one) "Source Code" is still a very fun and almost touching movie to watch.
I like to think of this as the love child of "Groundhog Day" and "Inception", as "Source Code" has Jake Gyllenhaal reliving moments in the past using a unique gadget to aid him. But unlike either of those movies, Gyllenhaal or Captain Colter Stevens, does this in an alternate reality, where he can mix and interact with other people in that past, but he cannot change it.
The idea is original and was well executed by writer Ben Ripely and director Duncan Jones. While it is, for the most part, a mystery for the first half, who actually bombed the train was not much of a surprise. Its not one where you can guess it, as all of the creative forces at work point fingers in many different directions, using brief, false, though very effective red herrings to deceive and mislead you. The real twist comes in half way, and while surprising and one where you really can't guess, I felt it didn't hit me with the same force as other plot twists would. Its very well written and satisfying, though the deus ex machina plot device is used here in an upsetting way.
One of my complaints is that the writer and director did not build up the relationships for the characters, so really they have motives and do things that can't be supported by their characters. Development and progression is good, and I praise the fact that it is human without being a weepy tear jerker, but romantic and friendly elements are produced somewhat randomly in the script. A few unneeded scenes here and there, but overall, the saving factors for this are its lead roles. Colter Stevens and Christina are backed by excellent performances and have extremely good chemistry together.
Emotional, not sentimental
Some gaps in logic, though nothing upsetting
In my opinion, I thought this was a well acted, well written, compelling, and original science fiction idea. Aside from a few minor weaknesses, I wouldn't mind reliving this reality.
I so wanted to like this movie. I really did. Christopher Nolan is my favorite director because he's a master story-teller and fantastic writer, and he makes me think. He doesn't bring in politics, his movies are focused, and everything he does is innovative in its own way.
But after hearing the enormous amount of praise, this being his so called "Masterpiece", I have to say I came in with extremely high expectations. I didn't come out that way though. I was fairly disappointed in fact, by the predictable ending (or beginning?), the useless female character (his "masterpiece" is no different) and the somewhat repetitive way the film was structured.
But that's not to say it was bad. In fact, it was very good. Excellent, actually. Just for the standards Nolan has set, I am very upset by this film.
But I'll start with the good first. As many will say, the films two, distinguished plots, one that is black and white and going forward in time, the other being in color and going backwards in time, is expertly crafted and executed. The film starts off as exciting and mysterious in the beginning because of this. Nolan's depiction of the "condition" Guy Pearce portrays is also very accurate and the writing is sharp and believable. Each scene is presented in a random situation, which I find highly original, as Pearce doesn't know where he is and how he got there, just as the audience is curious to find out.
But I have many complaints. While the backwards and forwards narrative is highly original, the narrative itself isn't very good, at least in my opinion. I predicted the ending an hour before the climax, citing the blatant clues that Nolan was supposed to expertly hide or present in an inconspicuous manner, which he does in future films such as "The Prestige" or "Inception". While the story is creative in its own way, elements of it have been done before. Nolan also created a very useless female character (like Rachel Dawes, Olivia Wensecombe, and Ariadne). But unlike those characters, "Natalie" doesn't even serve to further the complex plot or further lay red herrings to deceive the audience. The story is also repetitive in the way it is told, as it precedes in a predictable fashion.
But I did like it. In my opinion, it was flawed extremely, but nonetheless a very enjoyable film.
Conflicted main character
Distinguished plots by color
Useless female character
Yes, I will be hated for this, but again: its just my opinion.
Does this film deserve a 100? No. I can't give it a 95 though, and it's undeserving of anything below that point. The Social Network is a fantastic movie. Modern film making at its best? Absolutely. And you know why? It has a plot. It has many and complex themes. It has characterization. Its complicated script, originality, and phenomenal cast is what makes this a fantastic movie in my eyes.
The reason I loved this movie so much is because of the fact that it didn't need guns, explosions, or unnecessary mayhem to make it exciting. Many people will say "this movie sucked, it was boring, nobody shot anybody." They say that because they're so used to bombs and killing. The real beauty of this movie lies in the themes of it. It uses dark, brooding situations and interactions such as greed, obsession, friendship, betrayal, sex, and insanity. Coming to think of it as a movie of Facebook, it's surprising that the creation of it was so left out. But that's okay, because the extremely detailed and expertly crafted script makes it that much more interesting.
I have to stress how fantastic Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield were in the lead roles. Garfield was able to hide his British accent Christian Bale style, and his explosions of emotions easily made him on of the best supporting actors of 2010. I applaud Eisenberg also, because the straight faced, fast talking and very smart ass atmosphere to his character were entertaining.
I feel this movie didn't get commercial attention it deserved. It was complex, dark, smart, entertaining, and fantastically acted. It goes on the top 5 list of favorite movies from 2010.
Excellent management of flashbacks between both cases