Jake Gyllenhaal is no stranger to working with mad scientists – or, at least, mad science. It was a decade ago that he played schizophrenic teen Donnie Darko in Richard Kelly’s memorably offbeat feature about wormholes, time travel, a diabolical rabbit and an impending apocalypse.
Now Gyllenhaal, 30, is back on semi-familiar ground, playing Air Force Colonel Colter Stevens, badly wounded in the Middle East but kept alive as the star guinea pig in a top-secret – aren’t they all? – government experiment. The movie is Source Code, the second offering (after 2009’s Moon) from sci-fi surrealist Duncan Jones.
The strange, improbable story of Woodstock has been documented exhaustively in print and on the screen, making it somewhat curious that Ang Lee has chosen to make it the subject of his first bona fide comedy since 1994’s Eat Drink Man Woman. Yet that’s just what we get in Taking Woodstock, a lighthearted look back at three days of peace and music whose more magical qualities fail to materialize here.