18 August 2007 | m_j_ray
Probably the best sci-fi film I've seen in years.
Sunshine is, quite simply, brilliant. From the opening sequence - simple yet effective and revealing so much about the character in question - right through to the end, I was gripped.
Oddly for a sci-fi film, the power isn't in the effects or the sheer fantastic nature of the plot, it's in the people. From scary-eyed Cillian Murphy to pretty-boy Chris Evans, every performance is believable. Their reactions to events are so much more genuine-seeming than in just about every other film I've seen in recent years; be it joy, shock or grief, you can share it with them and this is something that a perfectly-worked score and some very accomplished camera-work add to handsomely. Whilst the personalities do lean towards certain conventions, none of them are so much so that they couldn't be explained away as being a result of or necessary to their profession - the slightly distant and isolated physicist; the cool-headed and pragmatic captain; the biologist who is passionate about their charges but emotionally-distant from their crew-mates.
The dialogue too is spot-on with nothing coming across as being too clichéd or too hammy. It all seems like real things that real people would say, from the casual banter to the emotional outpourings and everything in between. Unlike so many other films, the characters are human and they act like humans - there is no casual detachment and needless bandying of glib phrases.
The effects are exactly what they need to be in balance to this - believable but not distracting from eight very dynamic performances; complementing rather than show-stealing and over-awing.
All in all it's more of a psychological thriller than a traditional sci-fi extravaganza and whilst this has been done many times before - 2001: Space Odyssey, Solaris, Silent Runnings; to name a few - Sunshine does it superbly and without fault. I'd highly recommend this film to anyone who is looking for something more than just easy entertainment to kill a couple of hours. Conversely, if you ~are~ just looking for something light then keep on looking - this is not a film to be only half-watched.