Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sunshine - "If the sun dies, so do we!"

With all the TV ads and positive reviews doing the rounds for Sunshine, we thought we'd go see it. Here's the short summary of the storyline…
It's 50 years in the future and our sun is dying. With the Earth slowly freezing, mankind's only hope is to try and restart the star by detonating an enormous nuclear bomb at its heart. With the first attempt having failed when the Icarus I mysteriously disappeared with all hands seven years ago, the Icarus II and its crew of eight are now 16 months into their mission and approaching Mercury.

Suddenly they pick up a distress call from what can only be the ill-fated Icarus I and it's emanating from a point very close to the sun and not far off of their planned trajectory. What do they do? It's been seven years so can anyone possibly have survived and, even if they have, can they justify jeopardizing what is basically humanity's last shot at avoiding extinction of the species to save just a few souls?

I quite liked this movie. Danny Boyle really captures the feeling of what it's be like to live in such cramped quarters for almost a year and a half with seven other people. It's been a long time and their nerves are starting to fragment, resulting in arguments, squabbling and violent outbursts among a few factions. Cabin fever is setting in nicely.

The science-fiction is pretty reasonable as well and I really liked the ship designs, hiding behind a massive thermal shield. However, the science-fiction angle is only a backdrop to the main story here as it could easily have been set in a submarine or a snowed-in arctic station, etc. It's about a group of people making decisions and trying to survive the consequences of those decisions, with all the psychological interplay involved. There's also the mystery of the Icarus I but I'm not saying anything more about that here.

Character development is a bit light but the story centres mostly around the mission physicist Capa (Cillian Murphy), as the only one that can arm and detonate the bomb. The only other names I recognised in the cast were Chris Evans (Mace), who played Johnny Storm in Fantastic Four, and Michelle Yeoh (Corazon), who was Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Not a great movie but not bad at all and worth seeing.

Genre: Drama, Science Fiction.
My Rating: 7/10

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