It started well but eventually disregards its own rules. Its a clever movie that gets you thinking but ends up revealing its own flaws and breaks down towards the end. The comparison to Groundhog Day is pretty much the selling point of the movie, but if you turn your mind off its great.
The movie starts off as an interesting thriller. Jake G. is pretty good as the confused army pilot who gets more charming as he takes control of the time he has left. 8 minutes sounds realistic enough to create a sense of urgency and give the character time to figure he’s way out. Vera F. portrays Goodwin well in the movie, a stoic soldier who steers him through the mission. The plot was fast enough to reel you in and let the story develop. But as it progresses and Stevens finds out more details about his mission, the logic behind the movie falls apart.
The source code is a gimmicky plot device and the time loop becomes inconsistent. Stevens can pretty much do whatever he wants irregardless of what Sean did or said in the last 8 minutes of his life. The movie didn’t explain what really happened in those 8 minutes so it had free rein to turn a dead guy’s last memory into a spy action film. Granted that this is a Hollywood movie (notorious for bending its own rules to suit its purpose), I’ll let that pass. But then the movie turns around in the end, chucks its premise aside and turns into a time traveling/Sliders movie with a Hollywood ending. The director’s attempt to put some emotional depth to a mechanical movie was anticlimactic.
It also makes the movie a bit pointless as you raise more questions. If Stevens created a parallel world then isn’t it possible that the train did explode, the bomber was not caught, and a bigger threat happened in another?
Just strap yourself in, enjoy the ride and let the facts gloss over you. The movie is an engaging action film after all, and even though the supporting cast – except Goodwin – are moving props, Jake G and Vera Farmiga sold it well.
My Rating: 7/10
Alternative Movie Poster by Olly Moss