EP Review: Sunshine

A Film by Danny Boyle .

Reviewed by Jonathon Sullivan.

Comments (12)

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  1. sullydog says:

    Yes, I know I said Peter Boyle when I meant to say Danny Boyle.

    (Beats own head with baseball bat.)

  2. tomt says:

    The only reason I’m glad I saw this film is so that I won’t ever again. To even mention 2001 in relation to this film is such a stretch. The ship is unbelievable. They don’t deal with gravity at all except when outside the ship (both the lack of or the increase when nearing the sun. Appears to be a commonly accepted scenario now since Star Wars).

    And the story never really grabbed me. People were walking out on the film. Especially after it turned into a monster film that wasn’t all that frightening. No, it’s not Alien either.

    To place this in the Hard-SF genre will only hurt that genre. It will only make it more unlikely that a true, satisfying Hard-SF movie, will come our way any time soon.

  3. Kurt says:

    I’m with the Reviewer here. It could have been a great film, but when they went all Event Horizon on us, I was more than a bit disappointed

  4. Leadhyena says:

    I have to counter Kurt and tomt on this. I thoroughly enjoyed this film.
    As many reviewers missed (even the reviewer here sad to say), the ending wasn’t Freddy Kreuger or a ghost or Event Horizon crap. The “monster” was the captain from the first mission, who was a religious fundamentalist (and before you counter, they spell this out in the film [rent the DVD when it comes out if you don’t believe me]). He knows that a second mission would be sent, so after sabotaging the first mission he puts out the distress call hoping to lure the second ship to the first one so he can sabotage both missions. No monster, no ghost, just a crazy religious fundamentalist who had a sun fetish (which was foreshadowed by the actions of the psychologist in the second mission throughout the first third of the movie).
    The only thing I didn’t like was the stupid “Black Hole” special effect in the last 8 minutes of the film. Either the sun would be a lot more dense of they would have to be much closer to the core (Schwartzschild raduis for sun is 3km, and temperature there is 9*10^6K, so you tell me if they made it in that far). I mean the concept was on the surface kinda sketchy (using a fission bomb to save the sun? come on).
    The whole monster contrivance is basically BS. Go see the movie, you’ll have other hard questions for it, but it won’t leave you unsatisfied.
    PS — my sun flare grade flame shield is up. 😀

  5. DKT says:

    I kind of agree with Ladyhyena, kind of. MORE SPOILERS!

    I was expecting Freddy Kruger or the Event Horizon, so I was happy when it was just the captain of the first ship as opposed to some monster in space (the joke about the aliens when they entered Icarus 1 was pretty funny). That said, I still thought it felt like a slight cop-out, especially the religous fundamentalist bit. It would’ve been more interesting if it was someone on the Icarus 2 crew.


    Overall, not a perfect movie, but a very good SF film with excellent directing, acting, and (for the most part) writing. I’m glad I saw it on the big screen, and I very rarely see movies that way these days.

  6. naming says:

    i just saw this and enjoyed it quite a bit. it was beautiful visually. it had its moments in dialog. well, as far as sci-fi movies go nower days, i’d say it was actually good. which says (a sad) something about sci-fi movies nowerdays more-so than sunshine itself, but there you have it (my opinion :D).

  7. P. says:

    The film as I took it was about people in extremes.

    Faced with the end of life in the solar system if the sun dies on the one hand, and the truly awesome, belittling and terrifying spectacle of the sun and being so close to it, on the other.


    The first captain embraced the first of these options and did everything he could to end life. The crew in the second ship are not, necessarily, hoping for the mission to succeed but they are all, still, caught between these two extremes.
    Add to that the pressure and inhuman nature of being in a ship for a long period, the high chance that they will die, and die separated from any contact with Earth, the consequences for the Solar System if they succeed or fail, and you have a classic high-tension movie.

    I didn’t care for the shlock horror of the end of the film with ‘the boogeyman’ but the initial scene, where the viewer can barely see who/what he is and, soon after, realise who he is and that he is now very cracked helped to add to the heady air of madness in the film.

    There is, always, the chance that the entire second crew would agree with the first and, more horrifying than the mission simply failing, all humans would die because of the crews’ actions.

    ******end of spoilers******

    Apart from a slightly muddled film, the visuals are simply stunning.
    Definitely one to see on the big screen with the big sounds.

    The first view of Mercury made the first half of the film for me.

    Not the best film, but it has some class.

  8. Metebelis_3 says:

    I agree with Leadhyena here. “Freddy Krueger” in this film wasn’t supernatural at all – merely an imperfect human being. That was much more satisfying than Sullydog’s review lead me to believe. Many of the films most imperfect decisions were completely logical – which is scary in itself. It’s unsettling how easy it was for people to delude themselves into doing something terrible, when given all the best motivations – whether it’s to divert the mission or kill a fellow crewmember. That was part of the true horror of this film, and it’s all about human nature; not the supernatural.

  9. sullydog says:

    For the record, I never said he was supernatural. But he was a monster, complete with creeping flesh and crazy eyes and the sneaking and the stabbing and the biting and the scratching…hence the devolution into monster movie territory. Or, if you like, slasher maniac territory (a la Jason). From the perspective of the movie’s narrative structure, he functioned as a monster…

    …And IMHO this movie just didn’t need a monster. As Metebelis himself points out, the true drama of “Sunshine” comes from the human characters and their situation, not the naked guy with the wild eyes and the UV-induced Freddy Krueger complexion and the quasi-religious gobbledygook, who came out of nowhere with a motivation that didn’t make any sense.

    Anyway, sorry for the intrusion, but I thought I should clarify: I didn’t object to the crazy guy/monster plotline because it was supernatural–it wasn’t. I objected because it was both silly and unnecessary.

  10. […] with entirely too nostalgic memories of his student days in the mid-90s, and then, just like this review said, Sunshine was a potential classic, but with the abysmal last half-hour ruining […]

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  12. Jackman says:

    I feel that the “monster” completed the movie for me. I think this because it brought in a couple major themes to the movie. For example it brings in the theme of not ” playing god” the monster believed he was doing god’s duty by sabotaging both crews. It was also a great twist and added a new demension of suspense to the movie.

    But I guess u liked or u didn’t. However with all the other things this movie brought to the screen, it is extremely unfair to say the movie sucked