Things goes horribly wrong about three-quarters of the way through Danny Boyle's "Sunshine," a sci-fi thriller from the man so revered for "Trainspotting," among other things.
That's when the monster emerges and starts chasing people. Okay, it's not exactly a monster per se', but it's close enough. It's the same thing that every other sci-fi movie has used to generate false tension. It's a lame idea. It's been used over and over again. I mean, c'mon, could we not think of something else? It's so fucking lame it makes me sick.
Prior to the monster, Boyle actually tries to explore the machinations of a story that finds the Icarus II traveling 93 million miles to restart our sun. Seven years prior, the Icarus I made the same trip, but disappeared. The crew of the Icarus II is a multi-national group including Captain Kaneda (Hiroyuki Sanada), physicist Capa (Cillian Murphy), staff shrink Searle (Cliff Curtis), Corazon (Michelle Yeoh), Cassie (Rose Byrne), Trey (Benedict Wong), Mace (Chris Evans) and Harvey (Troy Garity). Oh yeah, there's also the voice of Icarus (Chipo Chung), reminding us that the thinking ship could go rogue at any moment. Quite frankly, I thought it was a miracle that we weren't treated to that little cliché as well given the number of times it's happened in other sci-fi films.
Given the basic plot of the story, there's a lot to explore, but Boyle and screenwriter Alex ("28 Days Later") Garland lose their nerve. They're trying to make their movie some kind of cross between "2001" and "Alien." Oh hell, they don't just lose their nerve; their balls fall off and roll into the sewer.
There are interesting elements such as how Searle helps and doesn't help the others and what the effects of deep space travel are on human beings. There's also the effect on the crew of saving the human race. Interpersonal relationships are barely explored. Corazon has some weird relationship with her plants that we only see when tragedy strikes. Basically, there's enough raw material here to create tension without resorting to the "monster in the closet" scenario, which is the lowest form of plot resolution there is. It's fucking lazy. It's fucking annoying. It ruins virtually any film that employs it.
It ruined this one.
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