Let’s try here – “Inception meets Groundhog Day” and similar in tone to the recent “Adjustment Bureau”.
Useful in this circumstance, as to give too much detail will spoil your enjoyment of the film.
We can safely allow that Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) is on a train, it does not end well, despite meeting the very finely cheek boned Christina (Bridget Monaghan).
This will not happen just the once, another clue. The military are involved, a prerequisite in any film involving conspiracy theories and shadowy going’s on.
The film achieves a delicate balance of thriller, romance, Sci-Fi and drama, no easy task if the tone of the film is to remain consistent. Director Duncan Jones, has crafted perhaps not a classic, but a solid piece of entertainment, whilst also broadening the film into something more than might be suggested or expected.
The characterizations are good, Gyllenhaal makes a believable protagonist with many and varied possible work occupations and through some acting skill, makes the completely unbelievable, believable. No easy task, compare with early Harrison Ford for a fair comparison.
Gyllenhaal is perhaps not in this league yet but this is a solid step in the right direction. Monaghan is delectable, changing her attitude and reactions appropriate to the situation and Vera Farmiga (Colleen) as a controller type character, makes some headway in a difficult role.
Jeffery Wright, as Dr Rutledge seems somewhat uncomfortable in his role, not really buying into the character he is tasked with selling. Choosing to play the character a little more malevolent and chewing a bit more scenery, metaphorically speaking, might have added to the film. This might also provide more credibility for Colleen’s later character arc.
The effects are solid although not intrusive, serving the stories purpose and not the other way round. The story is inventive and just when the tension appears to have dissipated, finds another worthwhile plot strand for a thoughtful and intriguing ending.
Not quite “Inception” level spinning top debates, or endless blog ruminations perhaps but this should be good for a discussion when the credits run. Which may be sooner than you think with a relatively short running time for a modern film.
Intriguing, thought provoking thriller with a good blend of sci-fi, drama and a fine sprinkling of humour.