Sunshine (15)

Film

Thrillers

migrate.24681.jpg

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
Rate this
 

Time Out says

Tue Apr 3 2007

‘Anyone afraid of the dark?’ When it comes to suspense cinema, the instinctive answer should be ‘yes’, if the filmmakers have been doing their jobs right. The murky corner, the unlit path, the light switch that doesn’t work: these are the things to prickle the neck, while the chink of light should offer hope and relief. By the time the question is asked here, however, we’ve been led in a different direction. Light in ‘Sunshine’ is both hero and villain, an absolute necessity and an existential threat, as it is to the projected image itself. Too little of it and you’re on to a loser; too much and you’re bleached to nothing.

Danny Boyle and writer Alex Garland (‘The Beach’) last collaborated on ‘28 Days Later…’, which up-ended convention with the introduction of fast zombies. ‘Sunshine’, set in 2057, is comparably contrary: the set-up is a climate-change crisis in which not global warming but a big chill is jeopardising the earth, while the ticking-clock narrative demands a massive bomb be detonated, not defused. The sun is dying and eight sexy astronauts (including Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh and Chris Evans) have been dispatched to the heart of the solar system to kickstart the sputtering star. Their ship is the Icarus II. Now, to launch one mission named after the embodiment of hubris might seem questionable; to send another after it once its wings have been singed is surely asking for trouble, and, sure enough, our heroes soon find themselves faced with a painful dilemma, fraying nerves and one or two things that go bump…

There’s plenty here that doesn’t quite satisfy: the characterisation and dialogue feel thin; the plot veers awkwardly into slasher territory two-thirds in; and the future sensibility, which aims to meld deep-space functionality with metaphysical anxiety, is palpably derivative of ‘Alien’, ‘Solaris’, ‘Dark Star’, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ et al. (There’s even a ‘Star Trek’ holodeck.) More impressive are the sound design and score, by Underworld’s Rick Smith and Karl Hyde with John Murphy, which conjure an aptly foreboding aural backdrop for some strikingly suspenseful ‘exterior’ action sequences – particular stand-outs are a suitless space-walk and a repair sortie on to the enormous curved golden shield that protects the ship from the sun’s rays. For these, Doyle and DoP Alvin Küchler potently alternate pitch dark and an overpowering light that constantly threatens destruction.

It’s in the relationship between the crew and the sun that ‘Sunshine’ really shines. The star is a siren here, perilously captivating; when we first see psych officer Searle (Cliff Curtis), it takes a minute to realise that his permatanned, panda-eyed complexion is the result of too many hours on the observation deck. The awesome CG solar designs (by the Moving Picture Company) make this compulsion quite understandable, forging a powerful link between them and us – we too sit gazing at the playing light, fascinated and at its mercy. Forget fantasies of global catastrophe or psycho killers: the realest violence a director can inflict on his audience is to flood the cinema with white.
0

Reviews

Add +

Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Thu Apr 5, 2007

Duration:

107 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Danny Boyle

Production Designer:

Mark Tildesley

Cinematography:

Alwin Kuchler

Producer:

Andrew Macdonald

Cast:

Michelle Yeoh, Benedict Wong, Hiroyuki Sanada, Troy Garity, Cliff Curtis, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy

Screenwriter:

Alex Garland

Editor:

Chris Gill

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|11
1 person listening
Huey Nhan

I just watched Sunshine on DVD and thought it was amazing. Not without it's flaws but thoroughly engrossing nevertheless. The power and devastation of a star like the sun is so beautifully captured. Never again will I see space as a quiet and serene frontier. Watching the version with Danny Boyle's commentary now...

Huey Nhan

I just watched Sunshine on DVD and thought it was amazing. Not without it's flaws but thoroughly engrossing nevertheless. The power and devastation of a star like the sun is so beautifully captured. Never again will I see space as a quiet and serene frontier. Watching the version with Danny Boyle's commentary now...

panop

This story could have been much much much much better with out the psychopathic killer at the end. Heck, besides the third act, the movie reminded me of Apollo 13, where everyone comes together to solve a huge problem. Furthermore, there are some glaring factual errors. First, when bodies are thrown into space without a pressurized suit on, their internal body pressure hits 0, and the body explodes. This would happen much faster than the time it would take for the body to freeze over, even in sub-freezing temperatures. Second, any star, as it dies, becomes a red giant. It wouldn't be the small dot in the sky; it would have swallowed up both mercury and Venus. Furthermore, earth would be far too hot to live on at this point. Finally, a satellite that is in total blackout cannot control its movement. In other words, the satellite would eventually turn to the point where the sun's light would avoid the shield and burn everyone up inside. One last note, just how was the person from the other ship able to survive 7 years alone and suffering from overexposure to the sun?

carl

Have to agree about the megalomaniacal deus ex machina. It was a decent movie until that point. But had I seen this in a theater I would've walked out.

Edward Timmerick

I can only disagree with 'Pawel Adameks' review. I was quite pleased to see less bike riding apes and flesh eating dinosaurs than in the film 'Bambi'. Hence concluding, Pawel Adamek can suck my cockeril

pawel adamek

I felt the movie lacked a significant amount of bike riding apes, let alone flesh eating dinosaurs. Also, I question the scientific content of this film, as I am certain the sun is actually quite cold. Thank you for your time Love Pav

pawel adamek

I felt the movie lacked a significant amount of bike riding apes, let alone flesh eating dinosaurs. Also, I question the scientific content of this film, as I am certain the sun is actually quite cold. Thank you for your time Love Pav

Leona Luk

This is so good, and there's not a whole lot more to the Time Out review that I could add, The cast is fantastic, couldn't really ask for more there at all. The writing and the whole feel of the ship is great. I really wanted to be lost in that world for the duration of the film, and I think that desire lead me to not stop and ask questions along the way, whereas I would have done that in a weaker film. Like most films by Danny Boyle, I was left wanting more - he never provides too much and I think that is what keeps audiences excited about his films. Awesome stuff.

Leona Luk

This is so good, and there's not a whole lot more to the Time Out review that I could add, The cast is fantastic, couldn't really ask for more there at all. The writing and the whole feel of the ship is great. I really wanted to be lost in that world for the duration of the film, and I think that desire lead me to not stop and ask questions along the way, whereas I would have done that in a weaker film. Like most films by Danny Boyle, I was left wanting more - he never provides too much and I think that is what keeps audiences excited about his films. Awesome stuff.

Cruzer

This film requires a huge suspension of disbelief, but what sci-fi nail-biter doesn't? SUNSHINE is incredibly well acted and captivating, at times excruciatingly tense. Although there is plenty for the special-effects crowd, SUNSHINE is more than a theme park ride. I luv Danny Boyle, even when he's not perfect.

Cruzer

This film requires a huge suspension of disbelief, but what sci-fi nail-biter doesn't? SUNSHINE is incredibly well acted and captivating, at times excruciatingly tense. Although there is plenty for the special-effects crowd, SUNSHINE is more than a theme park ride. I luv Danny Boyle, even when he's not perfect.