Sunshine

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(2007) ★★★★

Sky Movies Select: Saturday 17 October, 10pm

Strapped to the back of a bomb as big as Manhattan, eight Icarus astronauts – including Cillian Murphy and Chris Evans – set the controls for the heart of the Sun, which is dying. Sixteen months cooped up in space with only a virtual-reality Earth room to keep calm.

They need to keep their cool, too. Because this crew is an accident waiting to happen – a whole series of them. They’re already feeling stir crazy. Soon they’ll be feeling the heat. And, in space, no one can see you melt. With the camera tracking down dark corridors and the crew chatting over chow, the early group scenes are uncomfortably like Alien.

Mildly ironic, since director Danny Boyle passed on Alien Resurrection in 1997 to make the indulgent Cameron Diaz flop A Life Less Ordinary. Still, it’s good to see serious-minded sci-fi where the only species we should fear is our own. Even so, rumours of kinship to 2001: A Space Odyssey are dumbfounded.

This picture’s true antecedents are a couple of minor sci-fi classics from the 70s: a psyched-up Silent Running crossed with a straight-faced Dark Star. On a Big Bang budget, of course. This catastrophe in the stratosphere comes with retina-searing imagery. Dazzling? At times it’s positively abstract.

“It’s nice when people say they liked it,” noted screenwriter Alex Garland wryly in 2012. “Because, at the time, it was a disaster. Nobody went to see that film.” It didn’t put Garland off risky sci-fi. He’s since made his directorial debut with the well-received Ex Machina.

Certificate: 15

Duration: 107min

IMDB – Sunshine

TMDB – Sunshine

Rotten Tomatoes – Sunshine

Other Showings Time & Date
Sky Movies Sci-Fi/Horror Wednesday, 21 October at 9:40AM
Sky Movies Sci-Fi/Horror Wednesday, 21 October at 7:00PM