Just finished a viewing of Danny Boyle’s film Sunshine, yet another penned by Alex Garland (the pair did both The Beach and 28 Days Later). For the majority of the film it’s a treat; a tense psychological thriller about people on a critical mission that is likely to result in their deaths. It feels like the crew might actually have been psychologically screened and trained before blasting into space.
The minority part? There is a ludicrous slasher sub-plot that adds nothing and just undermines the rest of the plot. Blank it from your mind and you have a great film. However as with 28 Days Later you don’t really have anything that is very original. Like Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz Garland and Boyle are masters of the art of pastiche. Take the best of Solaris, 2001 and Event Horizon (along with the cream of dodgier fair like Mission to Mars and The Black Hole) mix them together with the best effects and photography you can muster. Bingo hit British Lottery film. Remember Boyle’s best film was written by Irvine Welsh.
Acting-wise it’s a stellar cast with obvious talent like Michelle Yeoh and Cillian Murphy. Benedict Wong is excellent and its hard to believe he has such a small role compared to the clichéd and underwhelming Chris Evans (clench fists, look anguished, “I-m act-ing, nnnh”). Hiroyuki Sanada does good work with another small part, he was very familiar but it was only with the power of IMDB that I realised I had seen him from Ringu.