Have you noticed the similarities between the movie posters for The Adjustment Team and Source Code? People running (towards you, or away from something else?), muted colors, dominant black and gray themes …
Despite the similar posters, though, there is something fundamentally different in the world view these two movies present
The Adjustment Bureau presupposes that there is a God. Albeit unseen, this God is active in the lives of humans. Even though the actors work hard to “defy” God in order to get their free will, there is still a God. He is involved in the life of his creation. He wants what is best.
In Source Code, there is no God pulling strings. It’s just a hobbled man and his greatest creation: technology. Technology is the god of Source Code. Technology, in the hands of man, can be used to change the past, direct the present and forestall the future.
The Adjustment Bureau is based on a 1954 Philip K. Dick short story, “The Adjustment Team.” So we can assume, even though it is a science fiction (futuristic?) romantic thriller, that it reflects the predominant worldview of its time, even if the point of the story is too defy the worldview within which it reflects.
So, in the past 57 years, we’ve gone from man trying to gain freedom from an all-seeing, all-knowing God pulling the strings from afar, to Man using his scientific might to create a God that can pull those same strings.
This reliance on technology to do so also calls to mind the old McLuhan quote:
“We shape our tools and our tools shape us.”
Look at what technology has done, in the view of Source Code. Man needs nothing other than the mind and technology to defy the construct of time itself. Man doesn’t need a sound body — the creator of technology can’t walk without crutches and his main agent is nothing more than a brain encased in a dead half body.
I’m sure we could ramble on as to why this has happened, but I just wanted to point out the difference. You can discuss why.