Evil Movie Review: Sunshine

Morning geeks. I whole-heartedly admit that I am a slave to many of the blockbuster movies out there that everyone falls in love with: The Avengers, all the X-Men movies, any epic by Peter Jackson…yes, I enjoy them all quite a lot. But I also try to keep my eye open for some lesser known films that fall in to the genres I enjoy. Which is how I found the movie Sunshine. This science-fiction horror movie was directed by Danny Boyle, who has been involved in many of the movies I love from Slumdog Millionaire to 28 Days Later. So I was excited to check it out: continue forward for a spoiler-laden review from Lilith on this film.


The movie starts out like many movies I like do: on a spaceship. Here’s to hoping that I am reincarnated in to someone in the future that travels in space since so many novels and movies I enjoy involve space. The year is 2057 and the sun has started to fail. In order to reignite it to its full power a crew has boarded a specially-designed spacecraft that will allow them to bring a nuclear payload the size of Manhattan to the sun. That nuclear payload, if dropped in to the sun at precisely the right time, will rekindle the sun’s power and give the earth more generations of life before another apocalyptic scenario occurs.


The ship is appropriately named “Icarus 2”, but there was an “Icarus 1” that had set out with the same mission 7 years earlier that obviously failed as it fell off the radar and no one knows what ever happened to it. This second Icarus mostly consists of scientists. Some are in charge of communications, one in particular is in charge of the nuclear payload, there is even one in charge of a special on board garden allowing the crew to grow most of their own food during this decade long journey.

I first want to point out that these movies really make space life seem enjoyable. While we don’t yet have the technology to travel in space these distances like shown in this film, so who knows what will change between now and then, but it is interesting how no one in these space movies seems to suffer from muscle atrophy or other ailments that I feel would afflict those floating in space. Just saying.


So here we are on Icarus 2 surrounded by beautifully fit people, including Captain America himself (not really, but Chris Evans does play an engineer on the ship). Everything seems to be going swimmingly until…the ship receives a distress call from none-other-than Icarus 1. Dun dun dun… Well this poses a moral dilemma now doesn’t it folks. I like to imagine that with all the life-saving and selfless decisions I make in my day to day life right now that if I were ever faced with a decision like this I too would decide to help those in need, but let’s face it, I was pretty frustrated that this crew decided to take a risk and divert their current course in an attempt to pic up any survivors from the Icarus 1 while still trying to accomplish their mission to save mankind back on earth. I mean, come on now, talk about setting yourself up for failure?!?! Of course I guess that is why it is a movie, to keep it entertaining and full of risk.

Alright, back to the story, our crew decides to head towards Icarus 1 and pick up any resources or people they might still have on board, and that is when all hell breaks lose. Of course the stupid navigator forgets to divert the solar panels on the front of the ship that are protecting the ship from the solar winds to accommodate this new course. And as a result the ship sustains major damage. The crew is forced to try to fix some of the panels or they could all die, and our first death occurs at that time when the Captain sacrifices himself, getting burnt to ash by the solar winds while fixing the ship.

Sunshine2 The crew is saddened by this loss but continues towards the Icarus 1. Four of our crew head towards the ship to investigate and they find what looks like the entire crew of Icarus 1 turned in to ash after having exposed themselves to unshielded sunlight in the solar observation deck. Now that is weird…why would they do that? And this all has a very ominous feeling to it…

Additionally, the ship’s computer mainframe of course speaks to the crew regularly, and she is getting a little too bossy if you ask me. Is she converting in to an artificially intelligent life form like Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey?

Suddenly the two connected ships jerk and the connection between the two is severed, stranding our Icarus 2 crew on board the Icarus 1. They make the decision to send the scientist responsible for this trip back to the Icarus 2 via the only viable space suit they have, and 2 of the other 3 decide to wrap themselves in insulation and jettison themselves across the short space distance to the other space ship. I don’t know how realistic it would be, but it seemed like a good idea to me.


Back on board the Icarus 2 with several fewer crew members (bet that rendezvous with the Icarus 1 doesn’t seem like it was such a good idea now, does it?) this is where the horror aspect of this movie starts to rear it’s ugly head. A lot of the events in the last hour seemed like they were really bad luck, but the head scientist Capa realizes that there was one man not accounted for back on Icarus: the captain of Icarus 1, Pinbacker, still seems to be MIA and Capa realizes that he was the one responsible for disengaging the two ships’ airlocks and stranding them back on Icarus 1 before. He is now aboard Icarus 2 trying to sabotage the entire mission while murdering each individual crew member in as violent a way as possible. And he does all this with a disfigured naked body as he was irreparably burned by the sun’s rays earlier on Icarus 1. This part of the movie was all too reminiscent of Event Horizon if you ask me. Creepy but leaves you hoping someone will survive.

Of course that would be too good to be true, and as the ship’s crew perish one by one Capa has to make a decision: manually trigger the bomb at just the right moment and sacrifice everyone, himself included, or continue to struggle to defeat Pinbacker and survive. He, like everyone else at this point, realizes that none of them were really meant to survive this, and he is able to blow the ship in to the sun at the right moment, setting them all ablaze but saving mankind back on earth. The last scene as Capa sees time and space rip the ship apart is quite beautiful, accompanied by a piano piece that is stunning and something I would want played at my funeral if I ever died in some epic moment of martyrdom.


All and all I will say that the movie was not great, but at the same time I was not disappointed that I took the time to watch it. I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars, and if you are looking for an interesting science fiction film to distract you some rainy day I’d say it’s worth a watch.


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Posted on June 23, 2014, in Evil Movie Reviews, Horror of Horrors, Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. That twist by the end really makes it a different movie. However, it still works well. Which surprised me even more. Good review.

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