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April 30, 2007 | by  | in Film |
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Trainspotting creators, director Danny Boyle and producer Andrew MacDonald have once again collaborated with author Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later) for their latest film Sunshine.

It’s 2057 and Icarus II is carrying a special fissile bomb to reignite the sun, thus once again giving us good midwinter trips to Fiji. On the way, health conscious Maori actor Cliff Curtis avoids Seasonal Affective Disorder and vitamin D deficiency by blasting himself with 3.1% of the sun’s brightness in the forward observation lounge.

Sunshine borrows heavily from other sci fi films. We find the same long spacecraft, claustrophobic feel and paranoia that was in Event Horizon and Mission to Mars. The scooter run down corridors to an oxygen garden is like the 70’s classic Silent Running. A spacewalk reminiscent of John Carpenter’s cult film Dark Star goes horribly wrong when the ship’s captain gets a serious case of sunburn, when he fries in front of the ship’s forward shield. Finally to top it off there’s even an emergency 2001-style airlock burst, in an attempt to get three crew members back into Icarus II.

There’s also plenty of Boyle cliches. The backstabbing paranoia of Shallow Grave; a crew member struggling his way out of a coolant tank ala Renton’s toilet scene in Trainspotting; the colourful fantasy scenes of A Life Less Ordinary; a computer effects video diary reminiscent of The Beach; and once again we are subjected to loud and abrasive industrial techno music as in 28 Days Later, with a fiendish saboteur zombie-like character to boot.

Sunshine does not break any new ground in sci-fi, but it’s dark, moody, and at times a fun ride. If you are mad about sci-fi you will love Sunshine. If not, then you might want to wait until it comes out on DVD.


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