'Sunshine' Review From Film Crunch

by Paul William Tenny

I talked about Sunshine a little bit about one week ago in Offsite Stardust Reviews, because obviously I had momentarily confused Sunshine with Stardust. In the extended entry, I had this to say about the films premise.

I'll be honest here, Stardust sounds more interesting than Sunshine does, even though I dislike fairytale romance flicks, and dig all over science fiction. The plot has me gasping for air through all the BS, and I've only copied the first paragraph. That's not a good sign, is it?

Pardon my salty language in the original story, but I'm sure you get the point. The visuals look stunning, but the idea leaves a lot to be desired. It's the difference between smart science fiction, and dumb sci-fi, and I think Sunshine trends towards the latter for reasons I explained in the linked story above.

Now that the film has hit theaters, and because I'm a broke bum, I don't have a review of my own to offer, so I'll point you towards the one over at Film Crunch. It's a short one, but filled with praise for director Danny Boyle. Neil Estep didn't take the shots at it that I did, and that might be due to its length, or because he didn't see the obvious holes, or simply didn't care. Or something else, I don't know, and it's not relevant.
Our Sun, for those not aware, is four billion years old at least, with another for billion years yet to go before it gets ill, expands, and consumes the Earth. The notion that the Sun would need re-ignition just fifty years from now is not terribly original, nor is it remotely plausible. I'd also challenge the idea that we'd have spacecraft capable of moving between the Earth and Sun just fifty years down the road. We went from no space technology to walking on the moon in fairly short order, but I'd point out that the human race beyond robotic explorers has stagnated for decades ever since.

While we may very well have another spurt in manned space flight in the next fifty years, we might also not take so much as one more step beyond our planet too. I think it's only fair to to acknowledge that it's far more likely that the latter will be the case, until commercial exploration pushes us out for things we need, and can't get here.

Anyway, here's a teaser from Film Crunch.

Danny Boyle is an amazing director -- not only does he have a distinct visual style, but he uses film to turn a critical eye on life, humanity, and reality without becoming preachy. 28 Days Later and The Beach are among these achievements, and Sunshine represents the perfection of his craft. Along with Alex Garland, Boyle consistently takes unprecedented steps in a medium too often catered to the indifferent, and with this film, using the present-day climate crisis as a vehicle, he does just that.

To be fair, movies about space or the fate of humanity aren't new. In fact, it seems impossible to make any new statements about a future in space that's based on current science -- it's probably going to be a crew on a mission for the good of mankind. And while Boyle and Garland both admit to borrowing heavily from other famous space-themed endeavors, Sunshine somehow feels familiar and unique at the same time: familiar because it retains elements of past movies -- in some cases improving upon them -- and unique because of the breath-taking imagery, the great performances, and the sheer hopelessness of the mission.

Please, head on over there and read the whole thing, and thank them for posting a review for the rest of us bums.


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