Home > Film, Opinions (Film) > Film: 30 Movies in 30 Days: Day 02

Film: 30 Movies in 30 Days: Day 02

This post is part of a month-long project, answering thirty topics about movies over thirty days. The subject for the second day is:

The most underrated movie

For this I would have to go with a film that was a notable commercial failure:

Going blind?

Sunshine

(Click image for the source)

As director’s go, Danny Boyle has never seemed bothered by the prospect of switching genres. Crime thrillers, zombie movies, dark drama and, with Sunshine, the same kind of reflective sci-fi of something like 2001: A Space Odyssey. After grossing $8 million less than the reported budget it’s likely not something he’ll tackle again. That’s a shame because I think Sunshine is actually really good, and it’s a genre that could do with some talented directors making films in the style of 2001 or Solaris.

Set in the year 2057, the plot centres around the dying sun. Earth’s only hope is to launch a huge bomb directly into the sun and hopefully restart it, sending the crew of the Icarus II to see the bomb on its way. Along the way the crew encounters a series of disasters and discovers the Icarus I from Earth’s first attempt, prompting a debate over whether they should continue on course or try to salvage the payload from the Icarus I, doubling their chances of success.

As a disaster film the crew rapidly shrinks, but it’s the strong cast of interesting characters that holds it all together and makes the deaths meaningful. Chris Klein’s performance was a particular surprise for me as I only knew him from the Fantastic Four films and, while his character was one of the highlights in a particularly dull series, I didn’t expect he would be as good as he was in this.

This biggest mistake the film makes is in its final third, when for some reason it essentially becomes a horror movie with an inhuman killer stalking the crew, but that isn’t enough to drag down the rest of the film or its conclusion, and for me Sunshine is right up there as a sci-fi classic.

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