There's a lot to like about SUNSHINE. It sports dazzling visuals, arresting sound design, and a fun twist on the reliable science fiction premise of things going wrong on a spaceship far from home. The twist, of course, is that this spaceship is on a mission that takes it dangerously close to the sun, and the star's radiation is so dangerous that it borders on tangible.
Often, a film like this will pit the feeling humanists against the cold-hearted military types. I thought SUNSHINE was going down this road, so imagine how surprised and delighted I was when the military types turned out to be right time and again. Another common pitfall of this kind of picture is a disregard for physics, and I thought that SUNSHINE handled this particularly well in the third act, when time and space get ginchy.
Unfortunately, however, physics is about the only thing right about the third act. When the movie twists, its as if the filmmakers lost faith in the inherent fascination of their premise and decided to go, instead, with a bogeyman. And then they present the bogeyman horribly, with inexplicable fuzzy-cam and at least one victim shot so amateurish that I couldn't believe it made the final cut.
Even with the disappointing close, however, I still recommend SUNSHINE. It looks great, sounds great, and is a good time at the movies for most of its run. You could do worse.