Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Sunshine (2007)

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

Okay, so the sun is basically going out, and a team of astronauts is sent to reignite it using a giant bomb. The Earth loses contact with them, and they are never heard from again. Seven years later, a second ship is sent out. When they receive a distress signal form the first ship, they alter their course in the hopes that they can rescue the crew members and or salvage the bomb. And then everything goes wrong.

First, the guy who alters the course of the ship forgets to change the angle of the sun screen. Then the captain is killed trying to fix the damage done to the ship by the lack of sunscreen. Then the oxygen gardens burn up and they are left without enough air to make it all the way to the sun (unless they kill three of the crew members). They also have to overcome personal problems, madness, paranoia. The difficulties begin to get more and more ridiculous. They hook up with the first space ship, but accidentally disconnect. The guys left on the first ship have to make it back to the second ship sharing a space suit (three guys to one shiny gold space suit. Sound crowded?). And somehow this burn-covered, knife wielding slasher ends up aboard the ship. This is when I really stopped paying attention.

I had fairly high expectations of this movie (despite the reviews I read. Mark Palermo of The Coast (go Coast!) wrote "By the time Sunshine devolves into Freddy Krueger-in-space, any promise it had gets wasted." I didn't believe him. Silly me). I mean, Danny Boyle, Alex Garland, Cillian Murphy. Hey!

And it was a cool idea. I like science fiction movies as much as the next person, and this one really appealed to me. The kind of sci-fi movie where everybody dies. Groovy. However, I didn't have any emotional investments with any of the characters, so I really didn't care when they all died (and yet another spoiler). I didn't feel attached to anything. I mean, I was rooting for Cillian Murphy, because I like Cillian Murphy, even though he freaks me out (he's a freaky looking guy! He needs to grow a beard, he really does).

But it was just... all over the place. And I'm sorry, but some of the disastrous happenings were totally bogus. The characters weren't that great (which is why I guess I didn't feel attached to any of them). The acting was pretty good (the cast was actually quite impressive) considering the frequently poor dialogue.

And it felt like 2001. I kept thinking of 2001, particularly when they had those extreme close-ups of people's eyes. You know what I mean. When the computer shut down, I expected her to sing "Daisy, Daisy".

And then of course there was the Alien feeling. They actually mentioned Alien, so I am slightly appeased on that front.

The visuals were quite lovely, but they often relied to heavily of special FX (I don't know how well that will transfer to video - computer FX look a lot shittier on my TV than they do in the movie theatre).

It strives to be something more than it was. This makes me sad, because it could have been so much better - it could have been to science fiction movies what 28 Days Later... was to horror, but it got confused.

Although it was marginally better than The Core. Remember that movie where the big old ship had to voyage to the centre of the Earth to jumpstart the... core... using a giant bomb only everything went wrong and characters had to sacrifice themselves for the good of man kind? Shit.


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