Holy crap, that was...kinda awesome.
I hesitate to call this one of my fave science fiction stories. I'm pretty tired and that may be colouring my thoughts. But even so, this was REALLY good. Acting, directing, writing, all rock solid.
Often have I said that the best science fiction is that which uses the science as a backdrop to deal with human emotions, human condition, and metaphor. This movie doesn't quite get into metaphor, but it absolutely deals with those first two. This is a most welcome SF movie in that regard. No watering down to make a Big Bad Action Movie...oh yeah, and with some flimsy science over here so we can say it's scifi...WITH ROBOTS!
This is very much about the people. The science gets a little technobabbly, but it makes sense in its world and I can roll with that. Heck, it seems more thought out than most SF movies, where the science is pretty much magic. Source Code flirts close to that realm, but again, they keep it...kinda grounded. This is an arguable point for sure, but it worked for me.
The plot was well conceived, and is a good mystery, even if you figure it out quick. They play fair, all the clues are there, but even so, the mystery of who the bomber is isn't the meat of the story. It's mostly a macguffin to give Jake Gyllenhall's character something to do. Which is fine. And it resolves well, moving the movie into the next part of the plot. The fact that they wrap that up as more or less the end of act two is a good sign. This movie knew what the real story was. So many movies would have ended on that beat, but that's not Source Code.
My biggest complaint is about how forgettable a number of the passengers on the train were. In a movie like this that repeats, you really need more stand out characters to really latch onto, as much or more so than their actions, just to keep track of them. It *mostly* works, but they do blur just a hair. They didn't need to go over the top wacky like the characters in Groundhog Day, but just a sliver in that direction, without becoming SILLY might have been nice. But even so, this is so damned minor, and again, it works for the most part.
If you want a good story, good character and emotion, with an interesting science backdrop? Go see this movie. It's not a MUST see in theatres (Because it's not a big explodey action movie, which is what I look for), but watch that DVD, or Netflix. Or heck, support the theatrical experience, that's why I went.
This. This is my kind of scifi movie, almost to a t. Can we have more of this?
What? Moon? Oooh. *looks for the DVD*