Sunshine is another movie I noticed on a “must watch” Sci-Fi movie list. The premise of the movie is that the Sun is dying, leaving the Earth in a permanent winter. A group of astronauts are riding on the back of a big bomb the equivalent size of Manhattan island. They are supposed to launch the bomb into the sun to kick start it back up to full brightness. Sounds simple enough, right?
The movie starts with the crew learning that they are reaching the point where communication with Earth is not possible any longer. They had been expecting this, but not for another week. A few of the crew members haven’t come to terms with the isolation quite yet. Even though they are already millions of miles from Earth, this pivotal point hits them hard. Tensions flare up when the communications blackout occurs during a crew member’s recording of a longer than usual video message.
With most of the crew on edge, there is one more fact revealed. This mission represents the last chance for Earth. There are not enough raw materials to make another bomb. While everyone seems to be focusing on the chance for failure, the unexpected happens. The communications officer intercepts a distress signal originating from the first ship that was sent seven years earlier. They are tempted to attempt a rescue mission if only to secure another bomb for a second chance to restart the Sun. This first 15 minutes or so sets the stage for the rest of the movie.
As with most “impossible mission” stories, the heroes encounter a major challenge. The struggle to find a solution to the problem is just part of the plot. Some people might be put off by a sudden change in direction two thirds of the way through the movie. I could sense something was building up, but didn’t know what. I didn’t really mind the change of pace. I’d recommend this movie, but understand that the ending might not be what you expect.
Plot aside, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the stunning visuals in this film. There is an observation deck that the characters to and view the Sun through protective filters. I’m not sure why, but I liked seeing the fiery storms on the surface of the Sun. I was only watching the DVD version, and it looked great. I’d love to see how it looks on Blu-ray.