deja-vu Source-Code-POSTER2Source Code has been on the AYJW backlist for a while. I was planning on doing a podcast on it some time, but hadn’t made it a priority until I saw Deja Vu for the first time while visiting family for Thanksgiving. Deja Vu has more to it than Source Code in my opinion, though they are very similar stories. Both have heroes having some kind of ability to view and interact with past events. Both heroes are told they cannot influence the past, but somehow manage to do so, creating a different future.

Both movies contain quite a bit of violence and language and tread a very thin line from being rated R. Both contain terrorist attacks that result in large explosions that claim many lives. Though the ultimate point of both movies is the undoing of the tragedies, it’s still difficult to watch. I would not recommend either movie for children or sensitive viewers. For more detailed reviews regarding the content of Deja Vu and Source Code, check out PluggedIn.com.

Source Code score is by Chris Bacon. The haunting and moody music of Deja Vu was scored by Harry-Gregson Williams.

Proper motivation

The heroes in both movies sought solutions to impossible problems because they were trying to save the girl  Boundaries we take for granted can often be overcome with the proper motivation

One of the fascinating parallels between Source Code and. Deja Vu is the motivation that both protagonists have to insult the fabric of time and change the future . . . a girl. Doug Carlin falls in love with a murder victim, and, when he looks back four and half days and sees her alive, he decides to do what he can to save her life. For Colter in Source Code, it’s his seatmate on the train.

The Christian’s motivation for what we do is very similar. We don’t want anyone to perish in their sins.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Thinking outside the box

One of the biggest themes in time travel is the idea that the past is set in stone and you can’t change it. The heroes in both Deja Vu and Source Code were told this multiple times, but they were not the scientists who invented the technologies that allowed them to see the past and so they both were able to explore the sides of the box they were placed in and look for ways to increase their options.

Mixing science and faith

Is it shameful to be a scientist and believe in God? One of the things I like about Deja Vu is that there is an thread of the movie that deals with spiritual aspect of time travel. The “damsel in distress” is also a deeply religious person who prays over her meals.

What would you do . . .”

Two innocuous quotes from both Deja Vu and Source Code tie together in a way that has significance for Christians: “What would you do if you know you have less than a minute to live?” and “What if you had to tell someone the most important thing in the world, but you know they won’t believe you?”  Christians do have the most important thing in the world to tell people about and they know that life is fragile and anyone can die at any time and be faced with the final Judgment.

God’s mind is made up

Can we change the past? Since God is outside time, is he confined to our linear understanding of time? Can he change his mind?

In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.’” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Now, O Lord, please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: “Turn back, and say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord, and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.” 2 Kings 20:1-6

Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go toNineveh, that great city, and call out against it the message that I tell you.” So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God. They called for a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them. The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water, but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.” When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it. Jonah 3

Tidy endings?

The ending of Source Code leaves you asking some interesting questions. While the hero who goes back in time in Deja Vu dies, leaving his parallel self to take over where he leaves off, the hero in Source Code essentially takes over the body of someone else in his alternate future, leaving his own body/self to be reused for another Source Code adventure at some future time. This is where I stumbled on the plot for Source Code. I found Deja Vu’s premise to be more believable because the plot holes in the “source code” concept kept bugging me throughout the movie and seemed most glaring at the end.

If he was in Sean’s 8-minute memory of a past and unchangeable event, why could he go places and interact with people that Sean did not go to or interact with during the 8 minutes before the train exploded?  And if Colter Stevens in the body of Sean managed to avert disaster by preventing the explosion, how does he remain Sean, when Sean now does not die, especially considering that Colter is still alive in this alternate future, even though he asked that the plug be pulled in the original future? And what was with the flash of the “Cloud Gate” sculpture in each of his returns at the end of the 8 minutes?

I cannot answer these questions since I actually consider them to be plot holes. I’d be interested in hearing how others resolved these issues when they watched the movie.

Share your feedback!

What did you think of Source Code and Deja Vu? We would like to know, even if just your reactions to the trailer or the topics we shared in this episode. Or what general critical-thinking and entertainment thoughts or questions do you have? Would you like to suggest a movie or TV show for us to give a Christian movie review with critical thinking?

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About the Author
I’m an avid reader and movie lover. There’s not much I like better than reading a book and then seeing the movie version, or watching a movie and then reading the novelization. I have a degree in English literature, which means that at some point in my life I actually received grades for discussing and writing essays about literature. Can’t get much better than that, right? Well, it can. Who needs to pull apart the deep inner workings of dusty old classics when there’s such wonderful fodder in the mass media that people watch (and read) everyday? Above all, I believe that I can’t do much better in this life than in pointing my friends toward a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything makes perfect sense when viewed from a Christian worldview. Even when the intent of the writer was something entirely different, everything can point to our Creator God. He is the foundation for every logical thought, the judge of all evil, and the author of all beauty.

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