The idea is this: through an amazing technological breakthrough in modern screenwriting, an army chopper pilot gets sent back in time to a commuter train in the last eight minutes before a terrorist bomb kills everyone on board. He has to keep reliving that eight minutes until he can find out who done it.
But that’s just the premise, and there are some very good surprises along the way. It’s neatly plotted and imagined by writer Ben Ripley – and has a nice, tight running time of ninety minutes, exactly the right duration for something like this. Gyllenhaal does a good job radiating decency and soldierly honor. And the underused and radiantly sweet Michelle Monaghan makes it easy to believe a man could fall in love in eight minutes.
I should mention too that it’s nice to see our soldiers being represented as the heroes they are. Even if Hollywood can’t swallow enough of its own stupidity to make some movies showing them and the US as the good guys in the fight against Islamo-fascism, at least it’s uplifting to have The Veteran return to films as a heroic character rather than a PTSD-deranged maniac. It would also be nice if some of the people who made movies slandering these guys over the last few decades would come out and say publically that they were wrong and are sorry. I’m holding my breath.
Anyway, this is ninety minutes of twisty fun. I saw it on Pay Per View. It’s due for DVD release July 26th.