Friday, April 12, 2013

Don't Take It Away: Sunshine (2007)

Sunshine (2007, United Kingdom/US)
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Michelle Yeoh

((Special thanks for Lord Crayak for suggesting this as a review. Never gave it a chance until you convinced me, otherwise.))

I once mentioned that I'm aching to see a slasher film set in space. As in, an original slasher taking place in space, not cheesy sequels with slasher icons being thrown into space for one Goddamn reason to the next. I sure there are plenty of titles out there that tried this and they're just waiting for me to find them, but for now I'll settle with something close: Danny Boyle's Sunshine.
No 3D glasses required.
A group of eight scientists are on-route to our dying sun in hopes of detonating a nuclear device into it, re-igniting it back to life, only for their ship Icarus II to pick up a signal from Icarus I, another ship with the same function as their own but long-forgotten as its crew mysteriously disappeared. Seeing this as an opportunity to double the chances of their mission's success, they followed Icarus I's signal, board the empty ship and pilot it along with theirs, however, this tactic proves to be easier said than done as a series of misfortunes, miscalculations and an unexpected survivor begins to take them down, one by one.

Looking at it, Sunshine contains a lot of elements from sci-fi classics and cult classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Event Horizon and even Alien (1979) than your average teen-kill bodycount movies, making it more of an amalgamation of science fiction, psychological thriller, and drama with added levels scares and blood to build up an effective atmosphere. It wasn't until halfway into the movie where the surviving half of the crew get themselves into a slasher flick situation as it turns out, someone from Icarus I lived through the radiation of the unshielded sunlight, goes mad and now boarded Icarus II, hoping to kill off everyone inside it to sabotage a  mission since he believes is going against God's wishes. (Kinda ambitious for a religious nutcase, if you ask me) Next thing you know, he's chasing people across the ship with a medical device that looks like a birth child of a scalpel and an electric knife in typical stalk-and-kill fashion.

Sunshine, however, still ends as a sci-fi film with a more deliberate focus on the mission and how it would go on despite the odds that kept coming against them. Just as Boyle once stated about this movies, it's a story about overcoming impossible challenges and Sunshine took these grounds to the stars in an epic piece of pure sci-fi trappings, all the while keeping as much realism as possible. (No laser guns here, just ordinary people pitting against celestial nature. Think Deliverance in Space!)
For a movie about the sun,
we also got some cold contrasts when it comes to the deaths.
Now even though the story is something to praise for, I do gripe at this movie's technical aspects, moreover its editing. I wouldn't complain about the actors since the cast are great and well-rehearsed for their roles, and I wouldn't say ill about the special effects of this movie as it shifts from CG to practical from time to time much with great effect, and I adore the cinematography of this movie. (The sun and its close-up never looked so beautiful and intimidating at the same time!) But the music video-style editing on some of the scenes were kinda distracting, especially during the times our slasher starts menacing the remaining team mates. I'm sure it's to show how crazy the situation was getting but overall, it didn't work too well for me. There's also some pacing problems here, with too much sciency dialogue that can leave non-scifi fan like me lost with the conversation so that's one point down for me, but I'm sure with the right audience, that could be a keeper.
When Freddy Krueger goes Scifi.
I like epic movies in a more natural scale. Those that I can probably finish in one sitting without waiting for a sequel in a year or two. (hence why I'm no fan of the Happy Potter and LOTR movie series) Sunshine is one of those fine example, but not without its own bumps and cracks. Pacing and wild editing aside, the movie's isn't all that bad as it features some of the cruelest deaths on screen to keep some horror hounds happy and one big premise of a plot that you could either love, hate or just accept without thinking much about it. It's really deep in a sense that it questions a lot of subjects ranging from religion to the place of mankind in the universe, but this didn't sink in quite well to me. I'm sure some guy or gal out there can appreciate Sunshine more than I did, and it could be you, reader!

1 male burned alive in solar flare
5 males and 2 females found burned to death after being exposed to unshielded sunlight
1 male knocked into space and froze in sub-zero temperature
1 male exposes himself to unshielded sunlight
1 male found dead with wrist cuts
1 female stabbed through the back with scalpel
1 male trapped inside a coolant reservoir, froze to death
2 males and 1 female killed in bomb detonation
total: 16


  1. Never heard of Spaceship Killer until now. Looks sweet.

    "Special thanks for Lord Crayak for suggesting this as a review. Never gave it a chance until you otherwise convinced me."

    Yay, my meddling succeeds!

    "Think Deliverance in Space!"

    In space... no one can hear you squeal.

  2. Yes, yer meddling had succeed on having me rent this DVD for three days, along with the entire Omen series collection. I think I found my next reviews...

  3. I'm a huge Danny Boyle fan, but Susnhine didn't do anything for me. A mediocre wannabe-2001 with a leftover-zombie from 28 Days Later *yawn* ;)

    1. No, I think that guy's more like Doctor William Weir from Even Horizon only crispier...lol

  4. supernova was like this one. a ship answers a guy's distress signal and picks him up, but he turns out to be a superhuman psycho who starts chasing down and killing them.

    1. ...Holy shit guys, stop giving me these suggestions! I live in a country that hardly carry these kind of titles! lol alright, I'm gonna try that one next if I can find it! thanks!