August 3, 2007
Saw Sunshine last night. Snarky one-line review: You’d think people with the technology to build a bomb to reignite the sun would also be able to come up with an automated system to deploy it.
But that’s not really fair, of course. Pretty much all spaceship SF starts with the premise that people will travel in space. So I’ll buy that we needed people on the mission. I’m willing to buy a lot when it comes to spaceship and astronaut movies, which I love love love. I’ve seen 2001 and 2010 more times than I can count. But Sunshine didn’t make a lick of sense.
I hated that the whole plot cascade started with a stupid mistake that I don’t believe would ever happen. And I really really hate when the filmmaker doesn’t believe a technological crisis is enough to keep an audience interested and throws in a monster. Event Horizon did the same thing and I hated it too. (The only time this is acceptable is when the monster is the whole point, like in Alien. Or Forbidden Planet.)
I’ll tell you what I loved: Chris Evans. He’s great as Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four films, and he did a great job here as the hard-nosed realist. His was the only character I’d be willing to share an escape pod with because I didn’t think he’d die of stupid. Except he did. Ah well.
Really, though — great cast. Very pretty effects. Nice ship. Lots and lots of stupid.
Lessons learned: Naming your mission after a mythological character who dies horribly, probably not the best idea. And #1 on the list of rules for space explorers: never, ever dock with the mysterious ship that was thought lost years ago. No good will come of it.
Though having said that, I now want to write a story where the ship docks with the mysterious derelict AND NOTHING HAPPENS. Someone stubs a toe or something. I dunno.