Monday, January 14, 2008

Sunshine - DVD Review

SUNSHINE (***) - Starring Rose Byrne, Cliff Curtis, Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans, Michelle Yeoh, Troy Garity, Hiroyuki Sanada and Benedict Wong. Directed by Danny Boyle.

The first hour or so is this beautiful space odyssey, where I thought 2007 was getting its own 2001. The final third, however, veers dangerously close to Event Horizon territory.

We meet an international team of eight astronauts in the near-future flying toward the sun. The sun is dying, but this team has a way of jumpstarting it. The explanation they had was one I was willing to buy and not think about, and now I can't remember the details, but trust me that it's better than The Core.

Director Danny Boyle (The Beach) allows the crew to wax poetic as they get closer, but then we learn the ship they are on - the Icarus - is actually Icarus II. They get a distress beacon from Icarus I, which has been lost for years.

As the crew gets closer to the sun, the odds of their own survival are looking bleaker as the odds of succeeding in kickstarting the sun become more real. The human factor, the unpredictably of human behavior, is always the question in survival, and Boyle and company have a lot of good existential arguments that leak out under the cloak of a sci-fi flick.

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