Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, Chris Evans, Troy Garity, Hiroyuki Sanada, Mark Strong, Benedict Wong
Director:Danny Boyle

The Sun is dying, and with it so are we, the planet growing colder by the day. The crew of Icarus II represent our last hope, the last of our resources scraped together and made into a bomb that will hopefully kick-start the Sun, and make everything ok. Day to day life on the Icarus II is a precise and wondrous thing, though tensions are in the air as they get further from Earth. They have gardens, supplying food and air, and it seems every day the Universe has a new wonder for them to sit and look upon.

However, things are thrown into turmoil when they detect the distress call from Icarus I, their failed predecessor. They have a quandary - does it make more sense to go off course to the original Icarus, perhaps get information, retrieve the original payload to double their chances, or is it more important to stay on course and get the job done? But the Icarus I is a harbinger of bad luck, and everything starts to go wrong from there on.

Sunshine, the third collaboration between director Danny Boyle and author Alex Garland, following 28 Days Later and The Beach, is something of a mixed piece. But then all of Boyle's work to date have been flawed to some degree or other, regardless of his cult status. For me, the first half of Sunshine is enjoyable, it embodies the wonders of Science Fiction, the huge ship, its mechanics, the brilliance of the Sun, the crew sitting together to watch the planets going by. This material is simple, but handled so well that it is memorable and striking. After the turning point though, we are watching a different film, we've lapsed into SF as action film with extra effects. We've lapsed into a remake of Event Horizon, a film I didn't like first time round for all its high reliance on visuals without the depth to back it up. Sunshine handles this material better than Event Horizon did, so that it is tighter and better done.

Sunshine is worth the moments, though in the end the flaws are too clear and the results are disappointing.

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