Another film I skipped when it was released in theaters and never really gave much thought to is Sunshine, Danny Boyle’s second follow up to 28 Days Later. Now, I’m probably one of few individuals (at least in my horrendously small social circle) who did not really care for 28 Days Later (I like my undead slow and mysterious not fast and full of ‘Rage’). This was probably the main reason I dismissed Sunshine
aside from the fact that the trailer really didn’t explain anything
about the film other than it’s some mission to save the Sun. After The Core, I wasn’t really too thrilled with the concept.
I had all but written Danny Boyle off until he stunned me with the much ballyhooed Slumdog Millionaire. Suddenly, I felt I had to give this guy a chance. My step-brother mentioned Sunshine
being excellent so I decided to dig up information on it utilizing the
‘ol Intertubes. Sure enough, the critical reception did not match the
box office take. I said to myself, “self, you usually like movies that
aren’t big blockbusters, add this to the Netflix queue”.
And thus today, after a hearty turkey dog dinner, I proceeded to watch Sunshine,
only two or so years after its theatrical release. Yet again, I was
proven the fool for missing such a gem. Now, the movie is not the grand
slam I think Slumdog Millionaire was but Sunshine
definitely helps add some thought and humanity to the long dormant
sci-fi thriller genre. What starts out ponderous turns horrific as a
crew of eight battle against all odds to save mankind and keep their
Off all the left field performances I’ve seen recently, Chris Evans’ role in Sunshine
as the computer techinican Mace through me for a loop. It took some
time to even recognize him after his terrible turn as Johnny Storm in The Fantastic Four. Somehow Danny Boyle coaxed a believeable performance out of him so kudos Mr. Boyle.
Murphy does a great job as the unlikely protaganist and the one
individual with the knowledge to carry out the mission of igniting a
new star within the dying sun. Perhaps the real star of the film
however is the visual and audio design. Haunting is a word I rarely use
but I find it appropriate for this film. From the way Boyle and
cinematographer Alwin Küchler
create a heightened sense of claustrophobia and the way the camera pans
around the inspiring but deadly Sun is simply amazing. Kudos to the
visual effects people for their achievements in the film.
Audio is another stellar (see the space pun? did ya see it?!) aspect of
the film that kept me engaged beyond the character drama. From the
tightening of bolts to the sounds of airlocks ripping, the detail is
stunning. The score perfectly captures the mood and tension of a group
of people trying (and failing) to survive impossible odds. The film is
a winner for sure and it’s a shame it failed at the Box Office. I will
be keeping a close eye on Mr. Boyle’s future work and apologize for
writing off an individual with obvious talent even if his first “major”
film didn’t “do it” for me.
I hold this work to be original thought. If I have used copyrighted material please email me. I will bring it down immediately. I merely mean for this blog to be a means to discuss and dissect my favorite things.