Sunshine (15)



SciFi (2007)
107mins UK

Starring: Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Chris Evans, Troy Garity, Cillian Murphy, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benedict Wong, Michelle Yeoh
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer(s): Alex Garland
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

In the future, the sun is dying, threatening to plunge mankind into total darkness. The only hope is to somehow re-ignite the star. A team of eight plucky astronauts - Cassie, Searle, Mace, Harvey, Capa, Kaneda, Trey and Corazon - embarks on a perilous mission to save mankind, but as the team's craft accelerates out of radio contact with Earth, something stirs in the void.

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LondonNet Film Review
Sunshine

Three years after his unexpected foray into family films with the festive fable Millions, director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, The Beach) blazes a trail back to brooding, adult fare with this suspenseful, science fiction adventure....

Sunshine. TM and  2007 Twentieth Century Fox and Dune Entertainment LLC. All rights reserved.Sunshine looks sensational. Production designer Mark Tildesley and cinematographer Alwin Kuchler create a stunning vision of the near future, much of it set aboard a space mission en route to the sun.

Foreboding labyrinthine corridors, reminiscent of the claustrophobic interiors of the Nostromo in Ridley's Scott's seminal 1979 film Alien, contrast with spectacular sequences in deep space, brought to life with dazzling special effects.

Every frame is pristine, polished to perfection, and as the mission nears its destination, clever lighting effects bathe the entire film in brilliant, retina-searing white.

Boyle joins forces once again with screenwriter Alex Garland, who penned their zombie thriller 28 Days Later, for a nightmarish journey into the mid 21st century; a bleak future in which the sun is dying, threatening to plunge mankind into total darkness.

Without enough light to sustain plant life and replenish oxygen, or to warm the planet, the human race stands on the brink of extinction. A team of plucky astronauts - Cassie (Rose Byrne), Searle (Cliff Curtis), Mace (Chris Evans), Harvey (Troy Garity), Capa (Cillian Murphy), Kaneda (Hiroyuki Sanada), Trey (Benedict Wong) and Corazon (Michelle Yeoh) - embarks on a perilous mission to save the world.

"Eight astronauts strapped to the back of a bomb," says Capa in one of his voiceover diary entries. "My bomb. Welcome to Icarus II." With Kaneda in charge of the mission, Icarus II heads for the sun with the intention of delivering a nuclear payload into the heart of the dying star. The resulting explosion should re-ignite the sun and bathe the Earth in nourishing light.

Sunshine. TM and  2007 Twentieth Century Fox and Dune Entertainment LLC. All rights reserved.As the team drifts out of radio contact with home, bitter rivalries surface. In the midst of the power struggles, the crew stumbles upon a distress signal, which appears to be coming from the ill-fated Icarus I, which disappeared seven year earlier. Should Kaneda and his fellow astronauts continue with their mission as planned or make an unscheduled detour to investigate the source of the distress signal?

Sunshine owes a huge debt to Alien, and as in Scott's film, there is plenty of bloodshed and screaming before the mission nears completion.

Murphy's man of science clashes with Evans's cocksure leader, complimented by nicely judged performances from the rest of the cast as characters whose logic is dangerously impaired by cabin fever.

Boyle's mastery of so many complicated, technical elements is impressive and he sustains the tension well, sucking our expectations out of the airlock with about 20 minutes to go with an abrupt injection of pace. However, an orgy of digital effects in the closing moments almost ruins the climax, reducing it to an incomprehensible blur.

- Jo Planter

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