Friday, May 21, 2010

Review: Sunshine


Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Alex Garland
Starring Cillian Murphy Chris Evans Rose Byrne Michelle Yeoh Cliff Curtis Troy Garity Hiroyuki Sanada Benedict Wong Chipo Chung Mark Strong

Set 50 years in the future the sun has stopped main sequence fusion. A group of astronauts and scientists man the ship Icarus 2 that carries all the mineable fissionable material left on Earth (assembled into a fusion device with the mass of Long Island) with the mission to push this mass to the outer reaches of the sun and release it. The hope being that the huge bomb will explode deep enough in the sun to restart fusion.

The weirdness starts when as Icarus 2 passes Mercury, a distress beacon is heard that belongs to the first ship built, Icarus 1. Going to investigate they find the first crew dead and the ship sabotaged.

Thing really start to get weird as all sorts of systems start failing and crew members dying.

The ending is a melding of Aliens and maybe 2001 or maybe The Fountain or better yet, Disney's Black Hole and I can think of several remade films that have a strong resemblance to this movie. Does that mean it's derivative? No, at least not any more than any science fiction film of today is.

Overall the acting is strong and believable and generally speaking not stereotypical. The science might be weak, but that is nit picking. Icarus 2 could be Discovery 1 (look it up HA!) or the Nostromo. It really looks like they just took parts and pieces and again this is just mild grumbling because the movie is good.
Do you really get the atmosphere that MOON instilled? No, not really. Though in the end we still have brutal self doubt and questioning of purpose, in Sunshine you just don't seem to relate to the characters as much as say Moon. Maybe it's the difference between an ensemble cast and just one person.

This is a definite watch though, don't get me wrong. The movie may miss the mark in a few cases, but it does grab you with the scope of the mission and tension building towards the end. A good solid 8.


S.M.D. said...

I think the difference in attachment to the characters is precisely the problem of ensemble vs. solo. If Moon had not made viewers become attached to the main character, it would be an absolute travesty.

Sunshine, however, is one of the best science fiction movies ever made. It's in my top ten. But...that's me.

Beam Me Up said...

Yeah, with moon, if you couldn't relate to the main character the whole movie would have been worthless. But besides that, Moon with an extremely limited budget did an amazing job.

With Sunshine, I felt like one of the ape-men at the monolith. No question it is a fine movie.

So when are you going to start writing reviews for BMU? hummmm?
I can even take audio, on for a second there I started hearing the Beverly Hillbillies theme playing....yep, time to go to bed! lol. Thanks for the input SMD It is valued.

Nelson said...

I liked how the movie seemed to be as much about the characters and the story as about the effects. Granted, perhaps there can't be that many effects anyway since all there is outside is one really, really big fireball. Regardless, I liked the restraint and the pacing and tone. It did give me a sense of awe at just how mind-bogglingly large and hellishly hot the sun is. I also enjoyed the mystery of the ending. Fairly haunting. Some thought went into the movie, besides goosing the audience, which is always appreciated.