sunshine my arse

Saw Sunshine on Monday night and it was depressingly awful, not just because it was a bad science fiction film, but because it was a bad science fiction film by the same man responsible for Trainspotting, Shallow Grave and 28 Days Later. What the hell happened? It was utterly nonsensical, rambling, unimaginative, badly thought out garbage. The kind of movie some kid with too much imagination out there is going to watch, and think 'shit, if someone can write something like this and get millions of pounds spent on getting it made, then maybe I can write something better and get it made'. And you know what? He'll be right.

Let's skip over the fact the only guy alive who knows how to work the bomb intended to reignite the sun is allowed to go outside the ship on an astonishingly deadly mission halfway through the proceedings with barely a comment from the rest of the crew. Let's skip over the fact the crew consists of several frequently highly emotional individuals who wouldn't be allowed within fifteen miles of anything even capable of getting into orbit in real life (has Danny Boyle even seen Apollo 13?). Let's skip over the fact the movie supposedly relies on cutting-edge science courtesy of the CERN Laboratories (science clearly abandoned at an early point of writing the script). Let's cut to the chase and go for the stunningly unimaginative central conceit, shall we?

SPOILER ALERT time. Okay? Scroll down until it appears (apologies if you read it and didn't want to, but believe me, I'm saving you time and money).




The plot in brief: the Icarus II is on its way to reignite the sun with a Big Bomb. The Icarus I disappeared years earlier without completing its mission. The captain of the first ship is in fact still alive on board the original - now in orbit around Mercury - and he's gone mad, convinced that reigniting the Sun is against God's wishes. So he manages (somehow, it's never clearly explained) to sneak aboard the second ship. He then goes around messily killing the crew one by one as they approach the end of their mission. You never see the first Captain clearly, but he's got a distinctly demonic, sunburned appearance.

Yes, that's right, the plot of this movie comes down to: someone goes crazy and tries to kill everyone on board. A dozen cheap lo-fi indie movies could have been made for the money wasted on this shoddy exercise in film-making.

The two word review: Event Horizon. But worse. As much as I admire 28 Days Later, it nonetheless borrows huge chunks from the early Eighties television production of Day of the Triffids. Similarly, Sunshine tries to borrow ideas from movies such as Dark Star and the daft and similarly nonsensical Black Hole, and winds up with only a baffling pudding of half-baked ideas than anything even resembling a coherent, engaging narrative. Story not only should be, but must be paramount in the making of a feature film, and clearly this fundamental and absolutely necessary rule has been entirely abandoned.
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