Tuesday, January 26, 2010


In the not-too-distant future the son is diminishing and the earth is on the verge of a major ice age. The governments of the world come up with the idea of sending a crew with an enormous bomb toward the sun to launch the bomb at a key point on the sun on the theory that the bomb will basically kick start the sun. Problem is, no one’s heard from the crew in years. Desperate, the people of earth gather up all the remaining resources they can to build a truly ultimate bomb and send a second crew to do what the first could not. A group of 8 brave souls set off on their, essentially, suicide mission to save the earth, but along the way they pick up a distress signal from the first crew. They then have to decide, do they go after the first crew or do they stick to the mission and just leave them there.
This 2007 flick is by now Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle and his longtime writing partner Alex Garland, who also wrote the not-so-great The Beach and the very very good 28 Days Later. This movie was visually fantastic, with excellent production design that was clearly very detail oriented. Sunshine also features a very international ensemble cast with each actor seemingly from another country, even the computer voice for the ship is a Zimbabwean actress. I liked that and felt it added an interesting and, in terms of space travel, realistic angle to the cast. However, this point about the cast brings up my biggest complaint about the movie, in that Boyle attempts a lot of things here but never seems able to truly utilize them. For example, he has this great international cast, but then has them all using, or at least attempting, American accents, yes, even including the computer. For crying out loud, it’s a Scottish made movie with only one American in the cast, just embrace it. There are other such examples too, like the introduction of a mysterious and, supposed to be, frightening stowaway. We never really know why he’s there, what he’s trying to do or where he came from. In other words, the idea may have been good, but it just wasn’t executed well enough to be effective.
In the end, this was a decent movie that was visually great, but lacked a bit in story. If you love space-based movies like I do, you’ll at least enjoy the watch, but for most it’s probably not worth seeking out.
Saturday Afternoon/ME

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