Friday, November 18, 2011

"Source Code" ...Mehhh

The latest film from Duncan Jones is getting a few mentions on critics’ best of lists for the year. It has been called Hitchcockian by some. Others are impressed by the plot twists and the mystery.

“Source Code” is not as good as its press would have you believe. It is not bad, but it is no great work either. The “twist” if you can really call it that is fairly clear from early in the story. (So far both of Jones’ films have clearly broadcast their twists in the trailers—and not due to poor editing or construction of the advertising. Any previous experience in the genre leads one to proper conclusions regarding the plots.) In the case of “Source Code,” astute observers know who the bomber is fairly quickly due to the editing. It is no coincidence that they keep highlighting—but not focusing on one passenger in particular.

Ultimately, this story is a huge exercise in societal wish fulfillment. We all wish there were ways we could fight the big battles of our time with the benefit of hindsight. It is unfulfilling ultimately because of the very nature of multi-verse stories. Any catastrophe that is averted in this sort of story still occurs in most all the potential—or in this case real—alternate realities. The audience is pleased when our hero averts the tragedy, only he hasn’t averted it. He has simply taken us all along into another reality. His reality didn’t change. He is simply stealing the life and reality of poor old Sean Fentress; and no one seems concerned at all for him in this story.

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