Danny Boyle’s Sunshine starts off as an pseudo intelligent science fiction film in the veins of 2001 and Solaris but in the last act resorts to the chaotic thrills of space horror films like Event Horizon. Scripted by noted novelist Alex Garland, Sunshine commences with a nice premise, that our Sun is near the end of its lifespan and is no longer able to provide a suitable climate for people on Earth. Spaceship Icarus II’s mission is to launch a payload into the sun and re-ignite it. This is the last chance for humans as the previous spacecraft failed its mission.
Watching the crew interact and deal with issues plaguing the spaceship, I found the first hour of the film engrossing. But both Boyle and Garland fail to produce any plausible way to wrap up the plot, and fall back to a strange character who kills off all the characters one by one. The film does not explain who this mysterious character is and how he came on board the ship. It is all VERY unsatisfying.
Sunshine features a very international cast including Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada, Michelle Yeoh, Chris Evans (Fantastic Four) and Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins). I found the special effects decently well done and it did not look cheap or shoddy.
Verdict : approach with caution.