Archive for the ‘Movie Review’ Category

Sunshine (2007)
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Written by: Alex Garland
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Chris Evens, Michelle Yeoh, Mark Strong, Rose Byrne

I first encountered this movie late at night, in that kind of dead zone between 9 and 11 when there usually isn’t anything on I usually watch. I was flipping  through the channels, when I was blinded by the light of the sun.

It’s a recurring theme in this movie, where eight scientists are sent by the human race to restart the sun. (Let that sink in…) They are the second such expedition, the Icarus II, after the Icarus I is lost and the mission goes unfinished. The movie starts a bit slowly, showing the average day in the life of people traveling to the sun. The crew gets along well enough, better than I would closed in so close to the same people for so long.

The action begins slowly, beginning when we see the ship’s psychiatric officer, Searle (Cliff Curtis)  has taken to standing on the observation deck and lowering the blinds to experience the burning light of the Sun. But after that, the pace begins to accelerate exponentially. When they lose contact with Earth seven days before they expect to, things begin to get… strange. When they get within sight of Mercury, the ship detects a distress beacon from the lost (presumed destroyed) Icarus I. They locate the Icarus I in orbit around the Sun. An intense discussion follows, and we learn that according to the calculations of the crew of the Icarus II, there may be survivors aboard the Icarus I. There is a debate about whether or not the Icarus II should attempt to give aid to it’s sister ship.

What follows is a fast paced, mind-bending thriller, which swings from the extreme of hard psychological thriller on to slasher film and back again. It never lets up. As the tight knit, orderly world of the astronauts begins to crumble around them, the way the movie is shot begins to deteriorate as well, slipping into a LSD-esque eye-fuck of lens flares and distortion. But, unlike movies such as the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, these serve less as a distraction than an added dimension to the story. The antagonist (played by a brilliant, unrecognisable, and seriously underused Mark Strong) is never looked at without the distortion that visualises his complete and utter madness, that looks like it infecting the air around him.

The downside to this movie, if I must be picky, is that towards the end the acceleration of the pace gets to such a point where it’s hard to follow exactly what was happening. But like I said, I am just being picky here. In the context of the entire movie, it really makes perfect sense.

If nothing else, this movie is satisfying on so many levels. The plausible spaceships (disregard its improbable mission), the realistic interactions of the crew, the decent into madness and anarchy… It works. It’s entertaining. All plot lines are sufficiently tied up. It’s visually dynamic, and the story is being told, brilliantly.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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