I am fully aware that this film came out nearly 5 years ago, but I did something the rest of the world did as well and chose not to see it; until my girlfriend told me it would be a worthwhile watch and I sat down to finally, full of expectations watch something that looked stupid when it came out; and is stupid now.
Before you assume this is going to be another hyper negative review- this is my favourite film of the ones I have watched since I’ve been doing this bid for emotional gratification; but that doesn’t protect it from the fact it has ludicrous deficiencies. And that’s if I ignore the plot which sounds like something a 13 year old on meth would write whilst he was watching anime pornography; it has the believability of whatever that tentacle heavy exploitation film would have as well.
Sunshine is the deliriously simple tale of a crew of shipmates going to re-ignite the sun. That’s right; RE-IGNITE THE SUN, with something called a payload which is either military talk or a metaphor about money and corruption or whatever; you are too put off by Cillian Murphy’s adolescent drone to want to listen to an explanation of it.
Despite the rather interesting story, good cast and top notch director; the films leaves a lot half baked (Get it? Half baked? Baking hot sun? Film about the sun? No?) which overall makes for a rather sloppy ending where no emotion is omitted from the audience and all you do is look at the pretty light show and wish it was November 5th where you would be stood freezing your bone marrow to an icy sheen but still feel warmer than how this film leaves you when it comes to its predictable conclusion.
There’s another thing; people alone for a prolonged amount of time in space, the audience knows how this is going to end. Not one person could tell you otherwise. No-one told the writer though who tries to explore as many genres as possible before he falls on predictability to tie the film up. After exploring mood piece, disaster film, loss of humanity and slasher flick he reverts to the obvious after giving Danny Boyle, usually excellent, an opportunity to mishandle all of those genres.
It’s a shame how misguided the ending is when it starts so well; granted the voice over explaining the purpose of the Icarus space ship is so ludicrous it takes a lot of effort not to get up and leave and watch something more believable, like a Katie Price documentary called ‘Confessions of a Catholic Nun’, but once you get past that the film pounces into emotional intensity and believability. Cillian Murphy’s character, Cappa, is built upon nicely and Chris Evans’ Mace is also touched upon to get you into the hope that this might become an interesting character piece. It doesn’t. After this promising beginning it makes you resent and hate the other crew and not care when their inevitable demise is met in a ludicrous manner of ways. With every sudden and unexplainable tonal shift you start to feel like there is nothing more that you would rather do than walk into the ship with a crowbar and destroy every soul yourself, if Michelle Yeoh’s Corazon (SPOILER ALERT) had been on the screen for a second longer I would have had to kill her myself with her own plants screaming SHUT UP! JUST SHUT UP YOU TERRIBLY POINTLESS HUMAN BEING!
Once more the ending leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, not because of its predictability but because you stop caring. The death of the sun is supposed to be a threat to earth, but you can’t help but think the world is in as much peril of destruction as a goat at the joint annual convention of vegans, goat worshipers and weak similes; it’s such an undersold plot development.
All in all, after the promising plot, beginning and setting you start to, not dislike the film, but resent what it turns into; you wish it would stop trying to be a mainstream , high CGI film and be an interesting character piece that it tries, and succeeds, to be at points throughout.