I really liked Duncan Jones’s first outing with 2009’s Moon. It played off the misconceptions of the audience in a smart and original way that I appreciated. But when I read the plot of Source Code I literally laughed out loud. I mean, Jake Gyllenhaal has the power to live the last 8 minutes of someone’s life? A magic computer program does this? It’s not a comedy? Alright, I’m watching Groundhog Day to forget about this. Then I wake up this morning to a score of 92% at Rotten Tomatoes and 75% at Metacritic. Now, we at NewFoundFilm have problems with these aggregate sites. For example, a critic can only give a yay or nay, not really giving you at all the feeling the reviewer felt about the film. But I have read reviews of people I respect like Kim Newman over at Empire who said;
“An exciting, intellectually stimulating science-fiction thriller which also connects emotionally.”
A film doesn’t have to be believable to be good, don’t get me wrong. We only have to look at last year’s Inception to debunk that. Source Code’s marketing is the real culprit. Inception had a trailer that showed us impossibly imaginative things like Paris folding in on its self. Source Code has a train blowing up with generic boss characters giving voice over. In fact all the marketing is just boring and it looks like a dozen other forgettable films. Maybe once the suits catch wind of the reviews, they’ll put a bit in to a last minute commercial budget.
Although the studio is failing him, I’m happy to hear the praise for Jones. Moon was very much undervalued. But I’m afraid the misconception of the audience he will have to overcome this time, is that the film might actually be worth seeing.
Trailer after the jump.