Movie Trailer: ‘Source Code’ is ‘Groundhog Day’ for Sci-fi Nerds and Badasses

By  · Published on November 20th, 2010

Groundhog Day was the first thing that came to mind while watching the first trailer for Duncan Jones’s Source Code. If you don’t know Jones, he’s the man behind Moon, one of the best sci-fi films of the last decade. Hopefully, this (studio backed) followup will be of the same caliber. From the looks of it, it just might be. If there’s anything surprising in this trailer, it’s is how heightened the world seems to be. The moments of Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) communicating with the military fat cats has a slightly surreal feel to it. There seems to be a sense of grounding as well, but this looks surprisingly out there. I’m not quite sure this is a hard sci-fi film or more of an action film, but I’m getting hints of it being the former.

Watch the trailer below:

If there’s anything to question, which is question that applies to every film that explores this concept, how’s Jones going to avoid redundant repetition? Watching a character going through a situation thousands of times with very little difference being made can get dull. I’m sure Source Code wont have this issue, the trailer gives off a fast-paced feel, but it’s just a minor quibble that’s attached to the repeating day concept. We most likely wont know until April whether or not that’s the case, but until then, at least we have an awesome trailer to continue to ramp up our excitement.

Source Code opens in theaters on April 15th, 2011. Here’s the official synopsis from the American Film Market:

Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) wakes with a jolt to find himself on a commuter train heading into Chicago. Although the other passengers all seem to know him, he has absolutely no idea where – or even who – he is. The last thing Colter remembers is flying a helicopter mission in Iraq, but here he is in someone else’s life going through someone else’s morning commute. Before he can do anything an express train zooms by on the opposite track and a bomb explodes, seemingly killing Colter and all the other passengers. Colter comes to in an isolation chamber, strapped to a seat, and wearing his military flight suit. He still has no idea what’s happening, except that he’s being spoken to by mission controller Carol Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), who calmly recites a series of memory questions to which Colter is shocked to realize he knows the answers.

He learns he’s part of an operation called “Beleaguered Castle,” but before he can progress any further, Goodwin starts up the machinery and suddenly Colter is back on the train, at exactly the same time he first appeared there, once again speeding through Chicago with the same group of commuters. Colter figures he’s in some kind of simulation exercise, with his task being to find the bomber on board the train before it goes off again. Living the explosion over and over, Colter must uncover the identity of the bomber, while also figuring out what the alternative universe of “Beleaguered Castle” is. Adding to the puzzle, Colter uses the second chance opportunities to make peace with his father, and to find romance with a fellow passenger on the train.

Longtime FSR contributor Jack Giroux likes movies. He thinks they're swell.