Film Review: Sunshine

2007 adventure/sci-fi: Directed by Danny Boyle; starring: Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, and Michelle Yeoh. [rated R] Stars given: 5/5

CASSIE: It’s different being afraid that you won’t make it back home and knowing that you won’t.

CAPA: Our survival depends on what we can salvage from the Icarus I.

CASSIE: No. We’re going to die out here, like the other crew.

CASSIE: I know it.

CASSIE: So do you.

CASSIE: Are you scared?

Starting with the failure of The Icarus Project—a team of solar astronauts that went out into space to restart the sun—“Sunshine” gets the plot out of the way immediately with a brief narration from the stoic captain of the Icarus II, a ship carrying a bomb the size of Manhattan out into space in order to do what the Icarus I failed to do: ignite a star within a star.

In what starts out as a rather straightforward storyline, wrenches are quickly thrown into the mix as the distress signal of the Icarus I is picked up, and the crew must then make a decision if it is worth the risk of altering their trajectory to try and inspect the ship. Unfortunately, the choice comes down to the least-liked character aboard the Icarus II: Capa. This, of course, sets off a dominos effect of decisions that ultimately make the already high-stakes mission an insane, tumbling journey. But even when you think it’s over, it’s not.

With a brilliant mix of well-known and unknown actors, “Sunshine” really makes the most out of their limited setting. A ship out in space is one of the most perfect “limited setting” situations for human behavior to just go absolutely wild and “Sunshine” does not disappoint.

Thanks to a series of creative camera movements, the audience really gets a sense of the weightlessness felt by the crew, especially during the spacewalk. This, along with a few ill-lit and confined shots, creates an additional and occasional claustrophobic feeling.

It is rare to have a sci-fi film without an alien antagonist, even more so when the film takes place in space, but “Sunshine” makes this work and it works brilliantly. This is a 5 out of 5 film that even the most anti-sci-fi moviegoer can enjoy… and I wholeheartedly recommend it to all.

Fun DVD hint: 50 minutes, 40 seconds in. 50 minutes, 45 seconds in. 55 minutes, 24 seconds in. Oh, and, this neat little effect? It is repeated one hour, 13 minutes in as well.


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