In "Source Code" a solider (Jake Gyllenhall) is sent back in time to prevent a train bombing and capture the man who set the bomb. For Gyllenhall fans, the film may feel like a step back into time and familiar territory for the film star.
Two of Gyllenhall's other movies, "Donnie Darko" and "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" are vastly different in plot and style, but all of the movies can be broken down into a simple time travel story. This trend of films has proven successful for Gyllenhall, showing that the actor's journey through the space-time continuum should continue.
In Richard Kelly's debut 2001 film, Gyllenhall plays the title character of this mind-bender. One of his earliest roles, Gyllenhall shines as the sometimes creepy, always interesting Donnie Darko. In the film, Darko's life begins a weird journey as a plane engine crashes into his home, he is guided by a man in a bunny suit, and time travel expert Stephen Hawking is mentioned.
The time travel in "Donnie Darko" is pivotal to the plot and events that occur throughout the film. Fans of the film have analyzed the story, gone deeper into the plot, and it became so popular that a "Director's Cut" was released with more explanation and time travel elements.
"Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time"
Nine years after Gyllenhall left the bunny costume behind, he got himself a British accent, grew some muscles and entered the video game adaptation film "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time." In the film Gyllenhall plays the lead character Dastan, a Prince who acquires a dagger that can reverse time.
The big budget film showcases a complicated time travel. Dastan retains his memories as he moves back in time and has to save the world from a giant sand hourglass that could destroy everyone.
The small instances of time travel are similar to the short bursts found in "Source Code." On the surface the films are vastly different, but if you modernize "Prince of Persia" and replace the dagger with a watch, there would be a lot of similarities.
You would need a time machine to see if Gyllenhall travels back in time in future films, but for now his collection of films provide action adventure and a solid mix of science fiction elements.