Director: Danny Boyle
Wow, this is some fantastic, dramatic science fiction film. It’s far, far better than 99% of the scifi films out there. Unfortunately, its predictability — at least as far as the inevitable ending is concerned — weakens it a little. But it’s still good. The plot is simple: the earth’s sun is dying so a small group of astronauts and scientists are in a unique vessel carrying a special bomb that needs to be detonated inside the sun to restart it and save the solar system. The space ship is amazing: it’s not all Star Trek polish and gleam, but industrial and fragile, like something humans would actually create. It consists of a sort of huge satellite-dish that points to the sun and shields the actual ship from the sun’s intense light. What liked is that when the problems start, they are genuine scientific problems, yet they are explained in such a way that we actually understand what is going on. Complicated tragectory calculations, limited oxygen, shields that must be rotated at just the precise angle to the sun, communications failure because of the sun’s magnetism, etc. This isn’t the first attempt by humans to restart the sun: this is the Icarus II, the second ship sent 7 years after the first failed, and when they discover that the first ship is near their flight path, they have a decision to make: change their course in the hopes that the original ship might have needed resources they could use? Unfortunately, all this great drama is dappered a little toward the end by a “crazy psycho” plotline that gets inserted, turning the ending into too much of a slasher movie for me. Until that point everything was awesome. The acting is fantastic, the drama palatable, and the scientific aspects of flying into the sun are fascinating. This really is an excellent film, harrowing and exciting, and I recommend you check it out.