Sunshine (2007)

Reviews were mixed last year when Danny Boyle’s (28 Days Later, Trainspotting) sci-fi pic Sunshine came out. A recent positive review in Entertainment Weekly spurred me to rent it.

The film starts strong. Fifty years in the future, a crew of eight scientists are traveling through space to the sun. They hope to reignite the dying star and save the Earth. Their ship, the Icarus II, is the second attempt, after the Icarus I went missing. The characters are well differentiated, and the shots of the ship are beautiful and interesting to look at. As the film unfolds, though, it fell more and more in step with sci-fi films of the past, specifically 2001, Alien, and Solaris. The movie makes deliberate nods to these, and other, films–it doesn’t hide its roots, and deserves to be regarded as an homage to them. I didn’t feel it creatively went much beyond any of those films, though. There were some cool bits, a nice, creepy surprise, good acting, and good visuals. By the end, though, it felt muddled, and more derivative than I think it was trying to be.

Trivia: the gold spacesuits had funnel-shaped helmets designed after Kenny of South Park’s hood.

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