Sunshine (2007) 3.43/5 (1)


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Rating: The Good – 67.4
Genre: Science Fiction
Duration: 107 mins
Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans

A team of astronaut scientists on board a unique spaceship are charged with carrying a gigantic nuclear bomb to the heart of the fading sun so as to replenish its energy. But as they make their final approach, one disaster after another places a severe test on the crew and their fragile partnerships. Danny Boyle’s high concept sci-fi was much touted on release and it certainly sets its stall out as an intriguing genre piece. In the early exchanges, intense personalities are introduced and complex relationships are alluded to and all the while the film looks a treat. However, problems surface relatively soon into the second act as Boyle rushes into the action in favour of a slow build up. If you freeze frame any part of this non-stop rollercoaster, you’re likely to see rich set design and highly complementary visual effects. However, when watched in real time, the frenetic editing ensures too many of these lovely shots remain on screen for no longer than a fraction of a second. Within this sensory carnage, any semblance of narrative is flushed out as one disaster after another besets the mission. And with Boyle’s signature penchant for quick cuts and sharp angles, the mayhem is amplified to fatiguing levels. Thus, as is so often the case with Boyle’s work (sometimes for better, sometimes for worse – this time for worse), experience takes precedence over story. Luckily, most of the noteworthy cast are given just enough room to make their personalities count. Cillian Murphy and Chris Evans add edge and soulfulness respectively while Michelle Yeoh reminds us why Hollywood should’ve made more of her post Crouching Tiger bankability. In the end though, this film is a little too much about its director. There are plenty of well crafted set pieces and John Murphy’s score exhilarates like few other sci-fi scores can, but one can’t help feeling like Boyle and company left something behind here.

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