Reviews: Sunshine

A Good Film, With Quirks

I first watched this film in the summer of 2008, and hated it. I watched it again in the spring of 2011 and it became one of my favorites.

What I hated about it was how morose and depressing it was. It didn't live up to my expectation as another The Core[1] or Deep Impact[2]. The deaths of the characters were a bit too far on the upsetting side (Harvey's and Mace's...buhhh), the Genre Shift into a slasher flick was jarring and weird, and the climactic end scene was too bizarre to find any satisfaction. The Headscratchers were numerous and distracting (how the did oxygen garden fire start? How is Searle's death supposed to work?). It's also evident from my reading much later that Danny Boyle made two-thirds of a film and left it to others to finish - in an interview on Sunshine, Boyle much rather seemed to want to talk about his next film, Slumdog Millionaire. He's also quoted as finding Sunshine to be a draining project. I really felt the film was sloppy and unfinished my first time watching it.

What I wound up liking about it is harder to put into words. I'm a big fan of spectacle, and sci fi is a fairly reliable deliverer of that. It required some adjustment on my part to appreciate the spectacle that Sunshine has to offer. It's in little moments - the sun's hellfire racing towards Capa after Kaneda is consumed by it, Pinbacker's "At the end of time" speech, the Icarus II's final plummet into the sun, etc. As for the ending, this video helped me contextualize and appreciate it. In addition, the soundtrack was loud, delicious, and clear to me. I have almost all the tracks in my music collection, and I listen to them regularly. All the headscratchers have either been answered, reasoned away, or forgiven. It's a good film, with quirks.

Nice film.

Hey, it's me and my friend, and we are drunk as hell (how else would I be writing this review?). As we have watched this film drunk and sober (except me, I'm just drunk), I found Sunshine to be a very enjoyable film.

As my friend (who hates sci-fi) found out, even those who hate hard science fiction can enjoy it, as it blends very well the "hardcore sci-fi" and "casual" elements in it, though I have to say that the added slasher elements near the end seem to forced (as if the audience is "too simple" to enjoy the film otherwise). It is very interesting to watch how the whole thing gets worse by every fifteen minutes and how casually the human sacrifice for the greater good is taken. I'm very sorry that I can't say much about the "character study" -side of the film, as I was too distracted by the visual effects and trippyness of some of the events (as I am drunk, if you forgot, and I'm just waiting that my friend to finish his Black Ops session, so we can get to barbecue some chicken with extra hot sauce!).

All in all, I recommend it to everyone, even to those who dislike scifi, as this film might open more enjoyment of fictional works in their lives.