The sun is about to die out, and earth sends a second team (the last one mucked up) to deliver a nuclear bomb the size of Manhattan to blow this baby up…well, to at the very least, jumpstart it. However during this little mission to save mankind, the crew begins to experience isolation, human errors and of course, their sanity is tested to the extremes after getting a distress signal (probably the creepiest signal I've ever heard) from the first ship that was sent initially to jumpstart the sun. Naturally, the team has to investigate (‘cause that’s what we humans do, right?) This is when that brown stuff really hits the fan and suspense, claustrophobia, weird “sun” addictions and the deep coldness of space befall us.
I totally enjoyed this movie all the way up until the third act. We’ll start with what I liked about the film and then slowly move into what I didn’t like. Right off the bat, we get a Ridley Scott flavor with the whole look and feel of the characters and atmosphere. It looked an awful lot like ALIEN and that’s okay by me as Boyle added his unique touches to make it his own. I especially enjoyed his take on some of the technology like the “Sun Viewing” room and the “Earth Room simulator”… some real cool shit (sci-fi guys will dig it!) In addition, we get some great suspense from an unknown force impending doom on our crew, which in turn reminded me of EVENT HORIZON.
But the real strength of the film came from its characters. Boyle developed all of them early on and we really got a sense of who everyone was, who was expendable, who wasn't and so on. You pretty much connect with all of them on some level, but obviously, some of the characters stood out more than the rest. Cliff Curtis, for example, who plays Searle the ship's psychologist, was excellent. His little sun addiction (I think you can call it that) was an interesting character trait and I really appreciated the little details on his sundried face. It just enhanced the character that much more.
Chris Evans plays Mace, the ship's engineer. I’m calling it now as I really believe that he's going to be the next big thing in Hollywood. This kid really has "something" and he was great here. He’s cool, charming, resourceful and totally believable. Cillian Murphy plays Capa, the Payload specialist or basically "the only guy who knows how to activate that big mutha Fn bomb". Here’s another example of a great actor in our midst. He plays “cold” so well. His stare can send shivers up your spine. Love it!
-- some spoilers in following paragraph --
And now we get to the third act of the film and this is when it falls apart, at least it did for me. Up until this point, we got a pretty plausible storyline that could really happen, but they had to go muck it up and throw in this "supernatural force", that kinda came out of left field. One second, we’re watching a semi-sophisticated science-fiction movie where the only danger and fear is coming from the horrors of space and the human mind and then BOOM, all of a sudden, this unseen entity comes out of nowhere. I really don’t think they needed to put this element in. It was totally working on its own merit and as a result, it threw the whole movie off and it certainly took something away from what could have been a great sci-fi movie. Now it’s a just a “good” sci-fi flick.
Nevertheless, I think the
sci-fi demographic will still enjoy this. I thought it was pretty great up until that later story arc.
So should you go out and see this movie today? Not really, there’s no
major rush, although then again, this is JoBlo.com and we’re usually all waiting for Friday to roll around for the next flick to come out
anyway so… I will say this though, the film does merit a big screen viewing so
if you do see the film, make sure you catch it in theaters. -- by Tim
-- by Tim Goernert