Directed By: Duncan Jones
Written By: Ben Ripley
Cinematography By: Don Burgess
Editor: Paul Hirsch
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farminga, Jeffrey Wright, Russell Peters
Army Captain Colter Stevens finds himself working on a special program where his consciousness can be inserted into another human being. The only catch is can only be there for 8 minutes at any given time. That morning, a bomb exploded on a commuter train just outside Chicago. He occupies the body of teacher going to work on that train and is confused as to what he is doing or why he is there as his last memory is of flying his helicopter on a combat mission in Afghanistan. Those in charge of the program explain to him that there is a bomb on the train, and that he must locate it. More importantly, he must identify the bomber as another bombing is expected later that day. He is also told however that he cannot change the past and can only gather information. As he develops a liking for his traveling companion Christina, he sets out to test that theory
The film is about a soldier who is sent back on a train in another identity to find out who bombed the train, So he can find the suspect and they can stop the suspect in present time. The thing is he can only go back until 8 minutes before the explosion. At first the soldier is unaware of his mission as he is informed upon it we in the audience learns things as he does.
The film is well thought out. At first i thought that going through the same scene only with different outcomes would get tiresome. Wisely after you get a feel of wwhat is going to happen. the film falls into a groove and focuses on other details of the story. It explores it’s material and puts it to good use.
Each and every detail and scene serves as a clue to what’s going on and how it will eventually end. Letting you put it together like a puzzle. which definately might require a few re-watches.
At times watching the film it feels like you are watching QUANTAM LEAP: THE MOVIE. It has similar plot devices but this film is more of a mystery and goes into more Science-Fiction territory, but it does have a cameo by a actor from that iroic series. whose first line is actually his cathcphrase form the series (Sorry To geek out there for a second)
Jake Gyllenhaal is becoming a excellent leading man and i am warming up to him as a actor. thought the film calls for a bit of drama, he really shows he has what it takes to be a believable action hero.
Michelle Monaghan’s performance is ok but i find her tiring, she keeps going for the girl next door roles she has played many times before. That it gets boring seeing her in the same type of roles. She never brings anything new to it. i realize it maybe how she is directed or she gets the offers for these roles only. i just found myself wishing another actress was in the role that we were not expecting. i mean she has the looks and personality thaqt makes her seem realistic. The role calls for a woman the character gets to know in passing, but she also makes him fall for her so much in fact even thoguh he knows it is iompossible he wants to try and save her. You need a actress that the audience falls in love with just as his character does. She just didn’t cut it in the role.
Jeffrey Wright plays the awkward scientist with a twitchy glee. He reminded me of the type of sidekick roles you would see in HAMMER Films or Classic Sci-Fi Films Think Kiefer Sutherland In DARK CITY.
The third act of the film almost sinks what came before it as it seems more suited to be a mainstream audience pleasing ending, Then a downbeat challenging one. At first i felt the ending was going to be like a Steven Spielberg film Where it should end 10 minutes before the actual ending, But by going on longer there is a payoff that makes sense in a confusing movie that if you don’t pay attention can leave you lost.
The film jumkps genres though it is mainly Science-Fiction it also has touches of Mystery, Thriller and Action.
If Director Duncan Jones stays on this path of creating films that are artistic, original and usually in the Science Fiction Genre he will be a director to watch and will be a film geek god if he isn’t already.
Definately worth seeing and adding to your film library