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(Review originally written at 21 April 2007)

There have been some (unsuccesful) attempts the past few years (such as "Solaris" and "Mission to Mars".) but lets face it, science-fiction movies now days mostly means flying space ships constantly battling each other and freaky looking aliens who try to take over the world, instead of the deeper and more philosophical approach. Nothing wrong with that sort of entertainment but it's refreshing to see that still good and clever science-fiction movies can be made, combined with the techniques of this decade. It really makes "Sunshine" one of the best science-fiction movies since years and I was pleasantly surprised by it.

The movie features basically every cliché you can think of with this genre and it of course also makes the movie in parts predictable but it does a good job with combining it all and it works out really well thanks to the lively and original directing from Danny Boyle that is somewhere between spectacular and philosophical but always in its own style. The movie is a great blend between tense and spectacular action and clever written moments. This movie picks all kind of approaches from mystery, to tension, to action and it all works out effectively.

Basically this movie has everything in it it needs to make a great movie with. It's tense, spectacular looking, has a mysterious theme in it and a sniff of romance. In other words; all the ingredients to have a great time with. It's a movie that entertains and thrills and is a feast for all your senses.

The movie is incredible good looking. Outer space has never looked so impressive and huge before. The visual effects are amazing and in a way also are the core of the movie. The special effects are everywhere, the establishing shots, the spectacular moments, the beautiful moments. They are just basically always present and a reason why this movie works out so well is because of its visual look, in which the special effects play such an important part. It of course can be all best experienced on the big screen.

Has there ever been a movie before in which the sun played such a prominent role? It almost becomes a character in the movie and it of course plays the biggest part in the movie, since it's all about the sun. In fact the story isn't really that much special or even original but the approach of it all makes this movie a refreshing one nevertheless, that is a great one to experience. How much things can you actually come up with, with a group of astronauts aboard a space ship on mission to re-ignite the dying sun. The movie comes up with some really well thought out and executed moments, that really are some edge-of-your-seat stuff at times. It's a greatly layered movie with themes in that can be interpreted in many different deeper ways, though it's also true that the movie toward the end becomes more formulaic and picks the more simplistic approach. And yes, it's definitely true that the movie is not terribly original with its themes and characters but nevertheless the execution and especially the visual look of it all still makes this movie one that is worth seeing, even if you've already seen all of the science-fiction movies this movie obviously was inspired by (such as "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Alien".). The movie really isn't the most original one but yet it feels like a totally new experience.

What I also love about the movie is that it does a good job at not picking one main character but instead focus evenly on all the characters aboard the space ship, even though you can say that Cillian Murphy plays the main character of the movie. It gives everyone a lot of screen time and doesn't really make any of them a secondary character for in the background with meaningless lines. It also makes all of the characters well developed, despite the fact that they all are quite formulaic. Also a reason why their characters work out is because of the top-class acting, from some well known but also lesser known actors. Not one actor in the movie disappoints and they all did a great job. It shows that Danny Boyle is a real actor-directing but also a director who knows how to tell a story without the actors but with lots of style and flair.

A great, mysterious, tense, spectacular but above all also really well made beautiful movie experience that you really have to experience for your self.

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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