Source Code’s many plot holes

We watched Source Code this weekend, and it was a bit of likable summer movie fun before summer really hits. Nice performances, a great Scott Bakula cameo, and a premise that let it have a bit of a heart and a brain to it as well. So if asked flat-out, I’d say I recommend going to see it.

On the other hand, a few things stuck out… (spoilers follow; if you’re sensitive you may want to skip to the bullet points where I have my story tracking as usual)

Basically, the movie presents us with a resolution in two realities: in the first, the train did kill everyone on-board, but thanks to our protagonist they caught the guy; in the second, he stopped the terrorist altogether and went on living with his newfound girlfriend. It wraps up in a nice little package.

Except that this guy has just adopted the life of someone he basically knows nothing about. He’s a helicopter pilot, not a history teacher, so he won’t know a thing about his job. His new girlfriend has at least some history with him that he has to fudge. And possibly worst of all, he called his real father and claimed this new identity was in the same platoon with his son, leading to the inevitable awfulness when poor Papa Bakula does some research and finds out that this douche was never in the military at all, and never knew his son to boot. How the heck does he explain that away?

Perhaps more disturbingly, the movie makes the case that he’s creating alternate realities with each decision he makes. So somewhere there’s a reality where this guy beat the shit out of some vaguely Middle-Eastern guy and got killed on a train. Or one where he found the terrorist and got shot in a parking lot. Or one where he looks extremely suspicious by saying shit indicating that there would be a bomb moments before it actually exploded.

Still a good flick. Smart — in terms of philosophy, not plot holes — and enjoyable action fun.

  • Mega Man X is excellent, and if you haven’t played it you should. Though the Mega Man X Collection on PS2 is probably better bang for your buck, since it includes six games (plus Battle & Chase, which is awful but an interesting bit of trivia) for $20.
  • God help me, this Sonic Generations game actually looks kind of fun.
  • Those price drops started faster than expected. I have to think this is just adding more smoke to the ever-growing “new Nintendo console” fire.
  • This is an interesting move by the ESRB. I’m glad it will save them some work, and I doubt they’ll run into problems often, but you just know the first time there’s a ratings flub critics will use it to pounce.
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