Source Code 4K Review

Duncan Jones’ second feature, Source Code, turns 13 this year and Studio Canal has delivered the 4K upgrade to us. The words “Studio Canal” to any physical media collector will usually bring a smile to their face instantly. And on this occasion, we can all smile but also maybe pout at the lack of much else that is new.

That is to say that if all you need is the 4K update then here it is in pristine glory.  If you require all brand-new bonus features, you will be left wanting but not completely empty-handed.

The film itself – A time travel-esque thriller about a soldier, Captain Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) who wakes on a train only to discover that he has to relive the same short pocket of time to find out who has put a bomb onboard before it detonates. In between his attempts to navigate the train and the passengers he finds himself in a dialogue with the people in control of the “time travel” aspect of the situation headed up by Captain Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga) and her boss Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright).

Steevens finds out he only has 8 minutes to come to terms with the “virtual” surroundings before he has to start all over again. The premise is a key component to this play on time travel and gives the filmmakers ample opportunity to explore various ideas without it ever getting boring – even though it is shoehorned into repetition.

Gyllenhaal’s star was shining bright at the time and very much continued to do so long after this film. The proof of why that is a fact is in his commitment to each role he takes on. Source Code wasn’t going to win him any awards, but it was a solid entry into his catalogue of interesting roles in very interesting films. This one just happened to be a time-travel thriller of sorts.

Source Code does not outstay its welcome or bog the viewer down in so much repetition that boredom sets in. At just over the 90-minute mark it gets in fast, does its business, and gets out leaving you with a well-paced and engaging thriller.

As far as the special features go – there is nothing new here, only pre-existing materials. The commentary which features a combination of the Director, the Writer and the Star is engaging and fascinating.

The other extras are mostly talking head extras from the time of release which whilst not without their merits are not as in-depth as the chat track.

Steven Hurst

Source Code is out on 4K from Studio Canal on May 20th

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