Danny Boyle's psychological sci-fi thriller set 50 years in the future. Follows a team of astronauts on route to a dying sun. The giver of all life on earth is dying and the astronauts are delivering a bomb that to fire it up. The journey sees the eight men and women battle for their lives and their sanity.
On Demand, DVD & Blu-Ray
Available from 3 providers
BY Flicks Writer
The journey is fraught with peril, problems, perspiration and psychological stymieing. It can get pretty whack up there, I can tell you. Isolation and 'what is our point?'-type questions seem exasperated a billion miles or whatever from earth. As Icarus II gets closer, the film busies itself with the psychological impact, on the astronauts, of approaching the giver of life on earth.
Also refreshing is the international cast. A mix of accents from even NZ, there’s Cliff Curtis, rising Irish star Cillian Murhpy as the ship’s scientist, ship captain Hiroyuki Sanada (a stand out), also Michelle Yeoh & Aussie Rose Byrne.
Sunshine is a "sophisticated" sci-fi if you will – certainly more concerned with drama and existential questions than special effects (which are nonetheless, or perhaps because of this, spectacular). Wearing its inspiration on its sleeve, it’s very much more '2001: A Space Odyssey' and 'Solaris' and very much less 'Armageddon'-type rubbish.
Whilst it took me 20 minutes or so to get into the groove - where there’s a bit of exposition and hammyness - 'Sunshine's intensity wins you over. This is thanks to the films claustrophobia, Boyle’s skills in white-knuckled thrills & action, and it all being underpinned by grand sound design and a powerful, near perfect score by Underworld (whose music also features in Boyle’s 'Trainspotting' & 'The Beach').
If you’re going to see it, see at the cinemas to do it justice. I don’t even much like sci-fi films, but found 'Sunshine' a dizzying opus – at times frustrating in its ambiguity, but mesmerising to the end. It's also got awesome space suits.
[Reviewed by Ed]
The Peoples' Reviews
Your rating & reviewRate / Review this movie
Rate and/or review
Murphy- seems to be the 1 person that actually has any part other than to appear for basic dialogue, & does a fantastic job. He draws you in and makes you a part of the film instead of an... More outsider watching a fantastic farce of futuristic muck. The snag was the introduction of “Pinbacker”, the 3rd act just came across as nonsensical as if 1/2 way through they duct taped 2 separate movie negatives together & figured no one would notice.
The final fight looked more something out of a Tetrus or Atari game instead of a fight scene & while for the entire 2nd act Pinbacker is shown to be just a man, albeit a tad insane, the 3rd act portrays him like a god, immune to the same tactics that have killed others.Hide
Special effects and an appeal at ones sense of humanity clawed this flick into the... More "satisfactory" category for me...
What may have ruined the experience was reading such glowing reviews before going! So If you are going to watch it, lower your expectations and you might be pleasantly surprised.Hide
To start with, this is NOT my kind of film. Danny Boyle's most famous flick, 'Trainspotting', is dear to my heart because while showing characters go through inhuman and bizarre circumstances, Boyle manages to keep them personal and accessible. 'Sunshine' is just the opposite. He deliberately distances us from the characters, so that we watch their various grisly fates with clinical interest, but nothing more. As the kind of person who cries during life insurance ads, I... More didn't even sniffle-- nor was I supposed to. Like the original Alien movie, it was 'I wonder who'll survive?', not 'Please please don't make her die!'.
And people did die, and they mostly died in beautiful, creative ways which gave 'Sunshine's cinematographer a chance to show his stuff, and explore of a bit of the nurture/deadly dichotomy of sunshine, which of course was the heart of the film. Visually, this was presented well--there were some gorgeous sun images, and the gold shields on the ship made a memorable image. Thematically, I found it patchier. I understood that these people had been on the ship a long time and were perhaps a little damaged, but after the first few people had faced their blazing deaths by embracing the sunlight and letting it wash over them like some quasi-religious experience, it began to wear a little thin. Then to find, instead of the Solaris-esque climax I was expecting, that the villian in question was simply a space-happy human--! I'm not sure what would have been less cheesy (angels? aliens? insanity? It's all been done!), but it was disappointing nevertheless, and jarred with the rest of the film. 'Sunshine's strength was portraying the creepiness and danger of a space, an environment; to have a human suddenly become the Big Bad rather cheapened the effect.
My other main beef is with the ending--it was frankly confusing. I'd wondered if it was just me with my non-technical, non-spatial mind, but none of my friends after the movie could give satisfactory explanations as to who was where or what was going on. With little idea of what was happening scientifically and spatially, and no emotional investment in the characters, it was hard to stay interested. (That said, I'm very glad the film didn't show the Folks Back Home biting their lips a la Liv Tyler--perhaps there's something to be said for bleakness after all).
I give the film a three, for the visuals, stylishness and a few perenially-fascinating, if shallowly-explored, questions about humanity. You know, the sort you get in Ethics 101... Who Dies If. I'm a sucker for that. :) But I won't be watching it again, and a few of the flaws were gaping. Then again, as I said... it's not my kind of film.Hide
Showing 5 of 9 reviews. See all reviews