Friday, August 19, 2011

Short Reviews of Source Code & Battle:Los Angeles

Battle:Los Angeles (2011)
A truly horrendous film.  It's a slice of badly written, poorly executed jingoistic nonsense that pitches Aaron Eckhart's squad of marines against an alien invasion in the ruins of Los Angeles.  The dialogue is painful (the last line of the film is supposed to be heroic but "We already had breakfast sir" is an epic fail) and the characters are little more than stereotypical cyphers - inexperienced lieutenant, haunted long-serving NCO, innocent country boy private,  tough and sassy latino female soldier.  Eckhart is a much better actor than this film deserves and he does at least have the grace to look embarrassed.  He should probably fire his agent after getting him this gig.
Rating:  *

Source Code (2011)
Duncan Jones sidled on the scene in 2009 with the downbeat sci-fi masterpiece Moon.  If that was Jones' 2001, Source Code is his Groundhog Day/Terminator mash-up.  Jake Gyllenhaal plays Colter Stevens, a soldier with a mission to find a bomb hidden on a passenger train.  So far so Steven Seagal.  However, the twist is that Stevens is from the near future and through the magic of the eponymous MacGuffin is inhabiting the body and the last eight minutes of one of the train's passengers over and over again.  The director marshals a uniformly excellent supporting cast but this is Gyllenhaal's film.  Source Code is an exciting and cerebral thriller that is only slightly spoiled by the Spielberg-esque gooey ending.
Rating ****

1 comment:

Fat Roland said...

Wow. "We already had breakfast, sir." That's... quite something.