If THIS is the quality of sci-fi flick that can be made for $40 M, it really puts quite a few others to shame.
Why I Saw It: The cast included some good actors (Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy, Michelle Yeoh, Mark Strong and Rose Byrne) and a few people whose opinions I respect made the recommendation.
Rating: 9.3 out of 10
Danny Boyle’s 2007 film Sunshine isn’t considered a classic, but it should be. It starts with a simple concept, and builds on it. The sun is dying out, and Earth is sending a vessel to re-ignite the spark, so to speak, after a previous effort inexplicably failed. They have the plan, they have the crew, they have the equipment to make it there and get back, but will it be a success?
For a film released 7 years ago which was never really on my radar to see until a year or two ago, the first thing that shocked me about this film was just how great it looked. Nothing seemed CGI-generated. Everything seemed tangible and realistic. The film looked like a $200 million dollar movie. Given the special (and practical) effects, and that the cast includes Chris Evans, Cillian Murphy, Michelle Yeoh, Mark Strong and Rose Byrne, I would expect that their budget would be considerable. But at reportedly around $40 million dollars, it’s incredible what Danny Boyle was able to achieve. The end product is phenomenal.
As the story unfolds, the plot gets increasingly more interesting. One thing after another, as new elements are added to the mix, nothing felt forced. Nothing felt contrived. All the turns felt natural. The performances felt real and were easy to emotionally attach with, not a single character feeling like entities created by a writer in a script. When things come to an end, the roller coaster pulls into the station and seat belts are unbuckled, it’s hard to think that anyone with even mild interest in science fiction would be disappointed with the result.
“Do I have to spell it out for you? We have a payload to deliver to the heart of our nearest star. We are delivering that payload cause that star is dying and if it dies, we die, everything dies. So that is our mission, there is nothing, literally nothing more important than completing our mission. End of story.”
“Icarus… who is the fifth crew member?”
Would I watch it again? Absolutely. I might just turn it on sometime when I want something partially distracting in the background.
To Whom Would I Recommend It? Anyone who enjoys a good sci-fi space adventure with elements of horror… but not gore.
Note: This was the 95th film I’ve seen for my Film Quest 2014.