Cert: 15 Runtime: 107 mins Director: Danny Boyle Cast: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans and Mark Strong
For seven years I spoke with God. He told me to take us all to Heaven
I must admit their are some films that I’m not a fan of, Sunshine isn’t that memorable of a film for me, but it is Danny Boyle month after all.In the future, the sun is dying and Earth lives another glacial period. After the failure of the Icarus Mission, a team of eight astronauts are sent to the sun in the Icarus II Mission to explode a weapon generating a supernova within the sun in the last hope of planet Earth. However, when a crew-member commits a mistake in the operation of the aircraft shield, he jeopardizes the survival of the group. I watch Danny Boyles movies almost reluctantly. I enjoy them, but they always tend to leave me with a sensation. When I saw the trailer for “Sunshine” I knew I had to see it. Danny Boyle is nothing if not visionary, and I knew that his take on the sci-fi genre would be something out of the ordinary.While I find him to be truly talented I also find him to be one of those directors who imbue their movies with inherent flaws. Boyle has themes that pass through all his movies like a common denominator. Sometimes obvious, sometimes less so, but always present. Boyles most apparent flaw here is his ever-present fatalism. It sinks down like a wet blanket as early as fifteen minutes into the movie. But let’s discuss the positive things first.What you can see is easy to notice. The visuals here are astounding. The sun is a beautiful golden yellow and the space ship is exceptionally constructed. In the first half of the movie, almost every frame is like a painted picture. The second thing is the acting. I really liked the collected ensemble of actors. With so few actors involved it’s incredibly important that they all work well, and they did. Thirdly I loved the ambition of this movie. It works on a grand scale. I’m not saying it works all the way or that it reaches the point where it wants to be. But I still admire the effort.
Now, getting down to the negative things is a lot harder. This movie is very openly and evidently flawed in many ways. From the obvious stolen plot lines (“2001”, “Solaris” etc.) to the way the movie almost turns into a slasher-flick at one point. I mentioned ambition in the previous paragraph and the ambition is painfully obvious when the movie fails. The film-makers want to get their message across to the point where it almost cramps up for them. Too much ambition can be like a ton of bricks weighing a movie down. A more simple plot line without the action-scenes and ever-present threats could have been even more effective. I said above that Boyle always carries his fatalism around and unfortunately that often leads to violent scenes where fate is swift and merciless. I would have preferred it more low-key.Danny Boyle is a merciless film-maker in more ways than one. There are no fairy-tale endings or smiling faces at the end of his movies. At least not in the way that most of Hollywood usually serves up. Usually though there is a small spark of hope. Hope for life maybe? This movie is far from perfect, but at least it made me think.