Classic Review – Sunshine (2007)

Sunshine 2007

Title – Sunshine (2007)

Director – Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)

Cast – Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Rose Byrne, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michelle Yeoh, Cliff Curtis, Benedict Wong, Troy Garity, Mark Strong

Plot – Set many years in the future where the sun is dying and mankind’s last hope of survival rests in the hands of the crew of space craft Icarus 2 that will deliver a planned explosion into the heart of the sun in hopes of reigniting the dying stars core. The crew however come to realise that the most dangerous part of their mission has nothing at all to do with the harsh unforgiving surrounds of the space but something much closer to them all.  

“If you wake up one morning and it’s a particularly beautiful day, you’ll know we made it”

Review by Eddie on 24/01/2017

In one of the rare occasions where both Jordan and I got to head to the cinemas together (now all those many moons ago back in 2007) we ended up on opening day here in Australia at a local Australian cinema establishment to see Danny Boyle’s much hyped Sunshine, little did we know we’d be one of the very few that got to see this Sci-Fi masterclass on the big screen.

That Sunshine (Boyle’s last truly great film) failed so dismally upon cinematic release will always be on of modern films great mysteries. Perhaps too much to handle for popcorn audiences, off putting for those that do not appreciate the moulding of horror and sci-fi and marketed in ways the studio no doubt regretted in afterthought, Sunshine’s failures to connect with audiences despite its fair share of glowing reviews is one of the many cases of underrated movies not getting the recognition they deserve when they first arrive at our disposal.

In the years that have passed since Sunshine’s initial release its hard to say whether or not it’s got the just rewards Boyle’s energetic vision and Alex Garland’s (who has gone on to make fellow brilliant Sci-Fi Ex-Machina) thoughtful script deserved but upon rewatch one thing that is for sure is that Sunshine still holds up fantastically well even if the impact it made on the big screen for those that saw it may never be fully released again in the format of home viewing entertainment.

The somewhat simple yet multilayered story of the space craft Icarus and its crew that includes memorable turns from Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, a pre-Captain America Chris Evans and a slightly sunburnt plus undocumented crew addition in the form of Mark Strong journey to reignite our dying sun is a set up for Boyle and Garland to explore not only incredibly effective set pieces (a white knuckle finale and a mid-space solar panel repair mission are highlights) and visual wonderment (the Sun comes to vivid life here) but intriguing ‘what if” scenarios that give the film a heart and resonate that often is amiss in fellow Sci-Fi companions.

When you add a memorable score from John Murphy and Underworld (that will be familiar to anyone that watches a number of recent trailers), some inventive editing from Chris Gill and a film that never outstays its welcome, Sunshine is the all-round Sci-Fi experience that comes around so infrequently in today’s modern movie climate.

A rip-roaring deep space adventure filled to the brim with smarts, charms and thrills, Sunshine is without question one of the 2000’s very best Sci-Fi’s and at another level all together, one of the genre’s very best examples of a men on a mission type scenario that still holds up incredibly well these many years on from its original and always to be so release that was cause of much disappointment for the lucky ones that got to see this beauty on the format it was meant to be enjoyed on.

5 dust filled spaceships out of 5

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25 responses to “Classic Review – Sunshine (2007)

  1. Yes. Yes. Yes. Brilliant film. Saw it at the cinema and loved it. Bought the dvd. Bought the blu-ray. Eventually got the soundtrack from itunes.

    Rewatch this film every year. You may have seen my own review/s of it on my blog. Love the nods to Alien and 2001 etc. If only we could see the extended version that was Boyle’s first (longer) cut. I know he prefers the current getsion but… Longer is MORE. And I want MORE.

  2. I’ve been meaning to give this one another look. I enjoyed it when I first saw it, but didn’t completely connect with it. I’ve always felt that a 2nd view might solidify it for me. Plus, its look is fantastic. Nice job!

    ML

  3. Great film, although a tad schizophrenic, slipping from hard-core sci-fi to haunted house horror on a turn.
    Have to wonder if the crew thought their mission was really anything more than of a suicide nature, even if it meant saving the world (like in The Core). The plan they had didn’t make it seem like they would be able to outrun the blast anyway.

  4. I think the marketing may have had something to do with it. Certainly I hated it when I saw it at the cinema – I came out of the screening feeling quite depressed. I’ve rewatched it since, and with better expectations it’s much better, although still feels like three movies (or at least genres) stuck together. I was reminded of Sunshine a bit when I saw Passengers, actually!

  5. I absolutely loved this film. It was a fantastic story, with some great performances and fantastic special effects. Great review on a somewhat forgotten gem of a movie 😊

  6. I recall when this movie came out I thought it sounded like a Michael Bay action film and I thought, “Why is Will Smith not in this?” I then saw it and realized that the marketing totally missed the mark on this one and I was amazed as to how great it was.

    • Yeh something was just so off about the whole marketing of this film. It felt like people either didn’t know it was coming out or if they did they had no idea what it even was!
      E

  7. I caught Sunshine on cable and loved it. As a matter of fact, I saw it several times. You are right about audiences possibly not understanding this movie. The screenplay was tight, Boyle’s direction was terrific, the performances were spot on, I don’t know why this film failed. Another great point of this production was the music.

  8. I love this movie. It has a unique, eerie atmosphere all of its own, and even though the third act somewhat slips into horror silliness it doesn’t bring the film down for me. I love how it portrays the Sun as the fearsome, awe-inspiring deity.

  9. Your review has inspired me to finally watch this. I’ve had it on DVD for ages, but never got around to viewing it. That is going to change.

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