Duncan Jones directs Jake Gyllenhaal, Vera Farmiga and Michelle Monaghan in this sci-fi thriller where a soldier finds himself in a time loop, possessing the body of a victim of a train bombing eight minutes before the explosion, over and over again.
I’m a big fan of the time loop sub-genre. To the point where I can’t really think of one I don’t cherish. Want it funny? Groundhog Day! Scary? Triangle. Thrilling? Retroactive. Arty? Last Year at Marienbad. I’ve yet to see Time Crimes. This sci-fi variant takes a little from Quantum Leap and string from Executive Decision. The disaster has already happened. Gyllenhaal’s disorientated body hopping investigator just needs to figure out the triggerman so future attacks can be prevented. It might even be him… That eight minute loop is pretty smart as it doesn’t really give him leeway to disembark too far or call in further resources. No big swings are allowed, there’s no room. The time outs in a shadowy military base where he reports back his findings and tries to figure out how he has been assigned this fantastical mission have an air of creepy paranoia. Jones slow drips the exposition, tightens up the kinetics (you are all but guaranteed a blast every ten or so minutes) and has lucked into probably the most naturally attractive cast of any modern release. Is Source Code the most original concept in the world? No. Is the bomber pretty obvious? Yes. Does that sickly sentimental ending have a lot of empty caboose to it? Sure. In the main though this is a slick, rattling good time. Times 8.
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