Sunshine immediately thrusts the story to a point in the mission where the characters are already within the orbit of Mercury and thus a short distance from the sun. This gives us no contextualization to the current situation on earth, the nature behind starting the mission or just what the mission meant to anybody on a personal level. We are given nothing to lead us into the story, we are just thrown the middle of it without consideration. The pace of the film moves along steadily enough to allow audiences to adjust without confusion, but we aren't necessarily given much of a reason to care about the characters in the film aside from general obligation.
Sunshine boasts a story about a collection of astronauts and scientists on a journey to the sun to reignite it and save planet earth in the process, but along the way everybody manages to forget about this and jeer the narrative off into a completely different path. The majority of the focus in Sunshine is simply on the main characters struggling to survive due to the fault of human error in their space journey, and it soon becomes an experiment to see how many ways writer Alex Garland can come up with for killing off his characters. The story in Sunshine is clearly inspired by a multitude of science fiction classics, borrowing from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Solaris (1972) and Alien (1979). Oddly enough a film that cites these three features as key influences was already directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. I refer to the science fiction horror film Event Horizon (1997), an imperfect yet seriously underrated box office bomb which has since earned the status of being a cult classic. Much like Sunshine, Event Horizon proves to bring itself into contact with slasher film conventions. But since everybody is aware that it is a horror film there is nothing in disguise. Sunshine insists on falling into the same narrative path yet pretending that it is something more. Sunshine does have the credibility of using themes from Armageddon (1998), Silent Running (1971) and Dark Star (1974) to elicit nostalgia, but these are arbitrary points to the story which offer it nothing in the long run. Sunshine aims for more emotional heft while Event Horizon was of a far more exploitation nature as it opted more for commercial gimmicks. But when it comes down to it, both films follow plotlines too similar to disregard. And against all expectations, I must say that Event Horizon triumphs as a superior film simply because it isn't as pretentious as Sunshine. In essence Sunshine is little more than a slasher film set in outer space where the killer is constantly changing, and any attempt it makes to pretend it is something else proves to just pile on a surplus of one-dimensional characters and arbitrary plot points which make no direct contribution to the story path.
Sunshine seems to be convinced that its display of the mysteries of space and science are a subject of intellectual marvel, but in actuality they are just used as devices to kill off the characters. This renders much of the imagery pointless in the lasting value of the narrative, ensuring that the film stays one-dimensional. It's really a shame because Sunshine managed to wring some truly impressive production values out of its relatively small budget of $40 million thanks to skilful production design, costumes and visual effects. Of course the highlight of the film's technical achievements is the magnificent musical score which captures the large scale of the journey and the sentimentality of the emotional intensity. During the climax of the story, the musical score is captivating in truly the finest sense of the word. Danny Boyle proves to maintain his sense of imagery even in the face of an ineffective screenplay.
Also, the diverse nature of the cast really lends the film a realistic ear of credibility and provides roles to people of various races outside of the conventional Hollywood sphere. It's just a shame that there are really no characters supplied to back them up as there are countless characters and little who are memorable. Everyone offers some kind of one-dimensional story of their own which doesn't go anywhere and essentially proves to be a tedious distraction from the central narrative. So as a means of establishing any favourites, it's really a matter of personal preference for cast members. In my case I liked Cliff Curtis the most because he spoke with a very eloquent sophistication. He explains the scientific language of the film at a steady and coherent pace without resorting to a condescending extent of layman's terms, and he does it with a truly genuine nature to him which adds a sense of humanity to his presence. He's smart but he takes a simple path not to complicate things, keeping him likable. Cliff Curtis has always been an actor I've respected, and so I'm happy to see him working in mainstream American cinema where he really gets a chance to display his talents to a wide audience.
Rose Byrne also contributes a strong effort as she is seemingly the most emotionally involved of all the cast members, keeping in a heightened state of intensity which plays out in both her line delivery and her physical movements. Benedict Wong similarly stands out predominantly because of the raw human emotion he displays when delivering a really intense monologue close to the start of the film. He comes off as being a very genuine human being on the basis of this scene.
Cillian Murphy is also effective and Mark Strong is an easily convincing villain. Chris Evans is also a welcome presence in his pre-Avengers career.
Sunshine has a talented cast and a strong sense of style, making it all the more disappointing when the narrative fails to capitalize on its concept and falls into a path of slasher film conventions and recycled plot points from superior science fiction films.
This is set in the future when the sun is dying out. 8 astronauts then have to go to the sun to deliver a stellar bomb in hopes of re-starting the sun. But the mission proves to be increasingly difficult.
I wasn't a fan at first but this has grown on me a lot. This is a very entertaining movie. It will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. What I like about it is that it kept me engaged all throughout it. Every single one of its action sequences keeps you on the edge of your seats the entire time. The sacrifices made by the crew members are heroic and jaw-dropping. Every characters death scene is handled with care and is done superbly. The movie handles its scenes with care to make them look as good as possible. The movie has a lot of repeat watchability due to this and it adds a whole lot to this movie.
I know that a lot of people complained about Pinbacker, but I disagree with you all. The movie needed something big to spice things up. It needed something to raise tension. Otherwise, the movie would've just been bland. Pinbacker brought a lot of tension to the movie and he carried it with excellence. I know that it's a drastic change of plot so I can understand why someone might not like it. However, what you have to admit is that Pinbacker was a lot better than most slasher/horror movies nowadays. Also, the final third had moving scenes too. Mays death was an amazing scene, the Capa's jump scene is tense and well-done, and the last 5 minutes is just downright beautiful.
This is a really underrated movie. It deserves much more praise. I think that this is a masterpiece. I've seen a few good arguments people have been bringing up but they don't affect my opinion of this. This is one of my favorite movies of all time.
Mankind is doomed as the Sun is dying so in a desperate attempt to not only save humanity but all lifeforms on Earth a space mission, properly named Icarus, is send with a massive bomb with the mission to create a new star by using the body of a dying one. But as you would expect the journey towards the Sun is more troublesome than it seemed.
Not since Cuarón´s "Children of Men" have I heard of a sci-fi premise so promising so I rushed to watch this film back when I was 15 but I ended up feeling frustrated after watching it, but after recently rewatching Garland´s directorial debut "Ex Machina" I decided to give this film a second chance and sadly I feel exactly the same about it. "Sunshine" is has solid acting with the standouts being the always reliable Cillian Murphy and Chris Evans in his best performance to date, the visuals are beyond gorgeous (easily one of the most visually striking sci-fi films ever made), the characters may lack depth but each of them is believable in their story role and they have solid chemistry, the plot is for the most part solid and its science exposition spot on as it is easy to understand (take notes Christopher Nolan, plus who cares if it isn't scientifically accurate), Garland´s writing is the same level of high quality that you would expect from him as he understands how to write a sci-fi film (it is not about alien invasion or massive explosions but about characters and psychological ideas), the score is perfect, Danny Boyle´s directing is as showoffy as ever but it manages to create an almost flawless tense atmosphere that will keep you on the edge of your seat (it certainly is "Alien" level of suspense), the CGI is not only believable but jaw droopingly gorgeous, and its pacing surprisingly never drags. But needless to say the biggest problem of this film is its last third which provides not only an unnecessarily and quite shocking tonal shift but an underwhelming, even frustrating ending to this gorgeous film. I mean I can forgive a great film for a dumb twist or ending (like "Signs" or more recently with "The One I Love" or Garland´s "Ex Machina") but this is not just a few moments, its more than half an hour and it literally throws away the previous 90 minutes of thrilling and compelling atmosphere (let's just put it this way: Is like starting watching Ridley Scott´s "Alien" and ending with freaking "Event Horizon").
"Sunshine" is one of the most beautiful sci-fi films ever made and it manages to create a nerve cracking atmosphere and gives solid characters, but all that hard work gets thrown to the trash with an unnecessarily third act that makes all the journey of the previous two acts worth nothing. One of the biggest wastes of potential in recent memory, but if you are a fan of the sci-fi genre this failed experiment is a must see.
'Sunshine' is a terrific sci-fi entry from Danny Boyle, who seems to be able to do basically every genre there is. It's got an interesting premise, good performances, and an ending that suddenly changes the genre to a horror movie, which is both a good and bad thing.