Sunshine – Review

Worth seeing: if you want a visually stunning sci-fi that lacks emotional and narrative bite, in a film whose directing is better than its writing
Director:Danny Boyle
Featuring:Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Cliff Curtis, Michelle Yeoh, Rose Byrne, Troy Garity
Length:107 minutes
Certificate:15
Country:UK
Released:5th April 2007

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

About fifty years from now, the Earth is heading for a new ice age, as the Sun is slowly grinding to a halt. Seven years earlier, a global rescue mission was sent into space, with a mission to reignite the Sun by detonating a nuclear bomb beneath its surface.
The mission failed, never to be heard from again, so a second mission — Icarus One — was launched as a last ditch plan to save mankind.
But nothing goes to plan, and the eight-strong crew, including physicist Capa (Cillian Murphy), spend most of their time arguing with each other – not least when they make mistakes that jeopardise the mission.
After one such mistake, while they’re trying to get things back on track, they detect an odd signal and realise it’s coming from the Icarus One.
Should they go to investigate – or press on with their mission?
If they made the right decision, there wouldn’t have been a movie here – so, making the wrong one, they’re shocked at what they find…

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

If ever there was a film where its style factor outweighed its level of substance, this is it. Perhaps more simply, it could be said that the directing is much better than the writing.
There’s no getting past the fact that it is stunning to watch – everything from the solar visuals to the exterior scenes of the spacecraft hurtling towards the sun, including the claustrophobic cosmic corridors and the stylish space suits.
It touches on some moderately interesting philosophical and theological ideas too – but it just touches on them, concentrating instead on a nonsensical and contrived, scientifically flawed plot and characters so thinly drawn as to make them, almost without exception, flatter than the pre-medieval understanding of the Earth.
This film is an impressive homage to many classic sci-fi movies, from 2001 to Alien, but don’t expect anything other than your eyes and ears to be moved or taxed.