Most science fiction requires a leap of faith on the part of the audience. This film requires a leap into a chasm that leads to a lava pit.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan are certainly attractive people. Gyllenhaal, as always, flashes his wounded puppy dog eyes to convey Emotions. He is Frustrated! He is Sad. He is Determined to Succeed.
The merits and demerits of this film depend heavily on the terrible, terrible premise. The infuriatingly nonsensical nature of the main plot erases any sense of verisimilitude and automatically distances a critical audience (comme moi) from engaging in the movie. Furthermore, the use of the plot as a motive force for a film narrative fails spectacularly in achieving any sort of narrative drive.Very quickly, I intuited that the main character was dead. Even sooner, the audience realizes that the train narratives are false constructions. Given these two factors, I saw no reason to emotionally invest in the characters or the film. Why should we care if Christina dies? After all, she’s just part of the Source Code program. Who cares if Stevens finishes his mission? He’s dead anyway.
The ending provides a neat solution. If Source Code creates new universes, then there is a reason to care about the characters. However, this revelation comes too late. By this point, the audience has already been given leave to check out entirely.
Plot aside, the film is somewhat enjoyable. There are some nice action sequences, but the train segments get tired quickly. The final act does feature good ooh’s and ahh’s and a fairly happy ending. I wasn’t terribly impressed.