Wednesday, September 7, 2011


~ SOURCE CODE (2011) ~


SOURCE CODE (2011) Synopsis / Review / Plot

Army helicopter pilot Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal), last aware of being on a mission in Afghanistan, wakes up on a commuter train traveling to Chicago. He finds that to other people – including his traveling partner Christina Warren (Michelle Monaghan) – he appears as Sean Fentress, a school teacher. As he comes to grips with this revelation, the train car explodes, killing everyone aboard and derailing it and a tanker train traveling the other direction.
Stevens regains consciousness inside an unfamiliar cockpit. Through a screen, Air Force Captain Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) verifies Stevens' identity. She explains Stevens is in the "Source Code", an experimental device created by Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright), scientist for Beleaguered Castle (a military unit named after the card game), that allows its user to experience the last eight minutes of a person's life within an alternate timeline. Stevens is being asked to use Source Code to discover the location of a bomb aboard the train and identify who detonated it. Goodwin explains that the train explosion occurred that morning, and was a warning by the bomber as a precursor to a larger dirty nuclear device that will be detonated in downtown Chicago. Though Stevens' actions cannot change the past and save the lives aboard the train, identifying the bomber in the alternate timeline will prevent the deaths of millions more in this one.
Stevens enters the Source Code several more times and continues to discard passengers suspected to be the bomber, as well as coming to a relationship with Warren. Within these jumps, he learns that these events occurred two months after an incident while on duty that reportedly killed him. Once he discovers this, he accosts Goodwin for more information. She is forced to explain that the remains of his body are on life-support at the Source Code facility while his mind is hooked up to its computer systems, the cockpit being a mental projection of his own mind to cope with the experience. Angered to discover this, Stevens makes a deal to complete the mission, demanding that they terminate his life support after it is completed, to which Dr. Rutledge agrees.
Back in the Source Code, Stevens eventually identifies a young man, Derek Frost (Michael Arden), as the bomber, and the location of the dirty bomb. On his return, his information is successfully used by the military to capture Frost before he can trigger the bomb in Chicago. Stevens is praised as a hero, but in private, Rutledge tells Goodwin to renege on the deal and instead wipe Stevens' memory to be able to use him the next time there is such an incident. In talking to Goodwin, Stevens realizes that the promise has been violated, and convinces Goodwin to let him return to Source Code once more after which she will disable his life support against Rutledge's orders.
Once back aboard the train, Stevens assures that the bomb is defused and Frost contained to be taken by authorities. He sends an email out, and then calls his estranged father under the guise of a fellow soldier, mending the emotional distance from their past. Finally, after inciting a comic to perform stand-up on the train, he takes Warren aside and prepares to kiss her as his eight minutes run out. As promised, Goodwin disables his life-support, in a scene that reveals his actual body as severely mutilated and comatose. Stevens is surprised to finish the kiss, still aboard the train with Christina well beyond the eight minutes, and realizes he remains in the alternate timeline. The train arrives safely in Chicago, and he and Warren ditch work to walk together and discuss their future.
Later that day, the alternate timeline Goodwin receives an email sent by Stevens earlier just as news breaks of Frost's failed bombing attempt. The email explains that Source Code does work, allowing the user to change history within the alternate timelines. Stevens' email ends with him telling Goodwin that when they use their Stevens, they make sure to tell him that "everything is going to be OK".


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