Have you ever awakened in a strange
place and had no memory of how you got there?
There’s a certain period of disorientation/discombobulation
that’s normal after every nap, but what happens to Lt. Colter Stevens
(Jake Gyllenhaal) is extreme. Not
only does he find himself on a train, with no recollection of how he got
there, he’s sitting across from a beautiful woman, Christina (Michelle
Monaghan) who seems to know him, but he doesn’t recognize her at all.
Not only that, she calls him Sean, and that’s not even his name.
The last thing Lt. Stevens remembers
is being on a mission for the Army in
, as a helicopter pilot. Where are
his men? Where is he now?
How did he get here? Who are
these people around him? And more
chilling still, he looks in the mirror and sees an image of someone who’s
To say much more would be to give away
the plot, but suffice it to say that Lt. Stevens has apparently been drafted
into a very unusual secret mission for the government, which involves his
identity, and his willingness to accept orders from a Captain Goodwin (Vera
Farmiga), a kindly face on a computer screen who keeps telling him that all
his questions are irrelevant, he just needs to focus on his new assignment.
We can’t help but root for our
beleaguered Lt. Stevens (they even use the word “beleaguered” as the
code name for this mysterious government mission).
And, of course, we are rooting for him to not only discover what
happened to him, but also to gain control over what seems so completely out
of his hands.
Sure, there are holes in the logic.
There always are, when you start trying to bend time and space
physics. But it’s a really fun
ride, and the characters are well-chosen, and the story is just original
enough to make it a satisfying twist on some well-rehearsed themes.
Just hurry and see it before someone spoils the ending it for you.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Co-Pastor,
United Presbyterian Church,