Moon made a big splash ’round these parts, as I believe that for all of the Avatars and Trons out there, something about the small, economic sci-fi film lands very near to the heart of a chewer. It’s not magic- smaller budgets and tighter focus tend to bring out bigger thoughts, which we’re always hungry for. But Moon managed to feature a lot of beautiful production design and visual beauty, created in a delightfully old school fashion. So it’s with great interest that we watch the career of director Duncan Jones (a great twitterer @ManMadeMoon), and now there’s a nice big trailer to give us a taste of his next film. Called Source Code, the synopsis is as such…
When decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, he learns he’s part of a government experiment called the “Source Code,” a program that enables him to cross over into another man’s identity in the last 8 minutes of his life. With a second, much larger target threatening to kill millions in downtown Chicago, Colter re-lives the incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack. Filled with mind-boggling twists and heart-pounding suspense, Source Code is a smart action-thriller directed by Duncan Jones (Moon) also starring Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye, Due Date), Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air, The Departed), and Jeffrey Wright (Quantum of Solace, Syriana).
The trailer itself can be found at Apple Trailers or in the embedded player below.
The trailer does a fine job of getting across an unorthodox conceit, and even points to some reality-bending stuff I didn’t know to be expecting, beyond a general hunch based on Jones’ instincts. I had gotten the impression (for no real reason, I suppose) that everything was based around a pure simulation, but it seems there are some legitimate real-world-affecting implications to the system the military has constructed.
The look of the film is fairly straightforward, with the science-fiction seemingly creeping in from the sides into what otherwise comes across as an out-and-out thriller. I’ll wager we’ll be seeing Jones stretch his twisty-turny puzzle movie wings here, which should be a lot of fun. Moon defaulted to playing to the emotions, so to see Jones tackle our minds with full force is an exciting prospect.
The film was shot by cinematographer Don Burgess, which forces me to admit being a little bummed to not see Moon D.P. Gary Shaw at it for Jones again. Burgess is no slouch however, having shot a ton of films from Forrest Gump to Spider-Man (and even the upcoming Muppets!). Source Code -visually anyway- seems to be putting the focus on the puzzle at hand, which will put a lot of pressure on the script by Ben Ripley, who is pretty much a newcomer and an unknown quantity. Gyllenhall looks good here and I always like seeing him when he’s not playing a not-white man in sand. Farmiga is a pleasure to have around as always (the uniform doesn’t make her any less delightful) and Jeffrey Wright looks to be in the kind of chewy, intellectual-authority role he’s so perfect for.
Source Code as presented is definitely something more mainstream and event-film from Jones, but it’s certainly not without signs of a beating heart and thinking brain. Enjoy some screencaps below, and look forward to a good movie after dumping off your taxes- Source Code hits on April 15th of next year.