Sunshine (2007)

In film, out of this world, Review on 01/07/2011 at 6:29 pm

Just a year before Danny Boyle won Academy Awards for Slumdog Millionaire (2008), which fully deserved the credit it got, he did this. Heaven knows why. Sunshine is a very badly written sci-fi, using quite mediocre means despite being a large production, and the acting is pretty terrible on top of it. The only one who really does a good job here is Irish actor Cillian Murphy as the story’s hero Capa.

Eight astronauts are on their way to the sun in 2050 because it’s dying and they need to blast a great big nuclear bomb into it so it can continue warming the Earth. It’s supposed to be a psychological drama about saving human kind versus saving one of your colleagues or your own skin, but the power play is weakly executed. The women mainly sigh and cry, while the men keep getting into childish fist-fights following painful, tasteless insults (they‘re dead because you said we should do this or that). This might have been more  likely in an army of some sort, but these people are supposed to be the world’s best scientists, not emotionally unstable testosterone-driven boys.

I’m not even mentioning the countless impossible occurrences like having a very difficult-to-get-out-of space suit on one moment and being magically out of it the next sequential shot.

Overall, Sunshine is extremely melodramatic because one is expected to sympathise with characters in peril, which doesn’t quite work out. The sloppily written story (how did they get in that mess in the first place?) and not knowing anything about the characters, save the couple of unoriginal lines they spat out, make it quite difficult to care whether they burn alive, freeze to death or go stardust on you any other way. It does pick up and get tense towards the end, in a surprising but not particularly good way.

Very sorry for ranting on, but The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw actually gave this film four stars. That review is is dire need of counterbalance if you ask me.


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