Sunshine (2007) is a science fiction thriller film directed by Danny Boyle. The English film director, producer, and screenwriter evidently believes that restriction breeds creativity. Boyles biggest budget to date was the 2000 movie The Beach ($50m). Despite being a commercial successful, however, it was mostly panned by the critics. This led to Boyle stating that he would never direct another movie with a budget that substantial again.
Nevertheless, Danny Boyle later accepted another ambitious project by taking his “28 days later” star Cillian Murphy into outer space, in a dark but striking film about a crew trying to stop the Sun from dying, and therefore the Earth itself. The movie Sunshine (2007) subsequently cost $40 million to make. But ultimately, it failed to recoup its money at the box office. Just because something is a financial failure, though, doesn’t mean that the movie is not worth watching does it?
Sunshine (2007) Plot
Set in the year 2057, scientists Robert Capa (Cillian Murphy) and Cassie (Rose Byrne) are sent on a mission to fire a colossal nuclear bomb at the Sun in order to breathe new life back into the dying star. The mission’s first ship Icarus I failed in its endeavor seven years earlier. This time around Capa and Cassie take an eight person crew onboard Icarus II to complete the job. Unfortunately, complications occur and a dark discovery threatens to derail their plans to restart the Sun’s core. Not to mention placing all of their lives at risk.
Sunshine (2007) Review
The plot is definitely intriguing, with a lot of very talented actors littered about the spaceship to carry the story. These include Chris Evans, Mark Strong, Benedict Wong and Michelle Yeoh. Furthermore, the gloomy, murky atmosphere surrounding our dying Sun makes a good contrast to the hope and life the crew seeks to bring to their world. It’s a dangerous assignment, but the passion and philosophy in the script produce the right amount of emotional investment and dramatic tension to really sink you into the meat of this mission.
Unfortunately, the script trips up a little at the finish line and falls into cliché horror movie territory. In so doing, it misses the chance to explore in more detail humanity’s metaphysical connection to the celestial heavens. As well as our ultimate importance or inconsequence in the universe. The final reveal does makes an engaging twist though. And I kind of get why it was included. In the context of the film’s plot there is a logical sense for this kind of outcome to occur.
Overall, “Sunshine” was a more ambitious and expensive venture from Boyle. Despite suffering from poor planning in the last part of the movie, it’s still an enjoyable sci-fi odyssey. The cast is also great, and together with unique visuals, and a stellar music score “Sunshine” still certainly ranks as a superior type of space horror movie. It may not be Boyle’s best work, but it’s certainly no failure like the box office results incorrectly indicated.
I give “Sunshine” 2 ½ stars out of 4.