Cillian’s attempt to mock John Travolta’s “Phenomenon” movie poster is dead on.

Golden Mug

Supporting Actress (Rose Byrne)
Art Direction (Gary Freeman, Stephen Morahan, Denis Schnegg)
Visual Effects (Richard Conway, Tom Wood, Annette Wullems)
Sound (Glenn Freemantle, Tom Sayers)

Theatrical Release Date: 07/20/2007
Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Chris Evans, Cliff Curtis, Michelle Yeoh, Hiroyuki Sanada, Benedict Wong

This is going to be one short review.

Not because there isn’t much to talk about in regards to Danny Boyle’s latest film, “Sunshine” … but because to talk about it would ruin the experience.

What I can safely say is that this is a science fiction film about the sun dying out and a crew’s journey to give our star a reboot.

Keeping all of the plot points aside, the performances are excellent all around. Boyle and his team did a marvelous job of casting and there isn’t a weak link in the acting chain.

The effects in the film are done very well and not once did I catch myself thinking the images were unrealistic or distracting.

From very early on in the film, the tension is high and it never lets go. That tension is the very reason that I never thought about the soothing comfort of a pillow, which is impressive considering I saw it in the wee hours of the morning.

If I had to bring up some negatives (and I love to do things like that), I will say that I didn’t feel enough of a connection with the plight of human existence.

The film starts during the mission, keeping the exposition light, which is nice since I can figure things out for myself, but that also meant that the overall point of the sun dying out and killing everyone on Earth was lost on me. In the context and focus of the film, I couldn’t care less if the Earth freezes over or humanity survives.

The other major issue I have is harder to explain without giving too much away. Let’s just say that the genre of the film changes dramatically and I think the film could have proceeded without the change. It would have been a different film but I think also equally valid, if not more so.

I hope I’m being cryptic enough because I don’t want to ruin anything here.

If you’re a science fiction fan, a Danny Boyle / Cillian Murphy fan, or all of the above, I highly recommend “Sunshine” and I’m going to give it a 4 out of 5. Yes, there are some global plot points I might have wanted to see tweaked but I was always at full attention, the performances are superb and it’s been a while since I can remember a good science fiction film coming to theaters.

I hope this gets released wide enough to find an audience and if not, this is definitely one to pick up off the rental shelves.