An unsung Scifi Gem


This is probably one of my favorite movies. Definitely the biggest discovery i credit to my netflix. I remember seeing the trailers for this one thinking: “this looks cool, maybe i should see it” and almost doing so with my girlfriend, but never did. 2 years later i got this movie, and my god was i missing out.

The Story So Far: The Sun is dying (don’t strain yourself on the science of that nor the insanity of trying to fix it cause the film doesn’t) and the Icarus II is on a voyage to to set of an ENORMOUS nuke in order to save the sun and thus save the earth. The film begins with the crew already 18 months into their trip just as they reach the dead zone (from here on communication with Earth is impossible). On the way, they discover a beacon, the Icarus I (which vanished in the dead zone years before) is still there, but it’s unknown whether or not anyone is still alive on it. They decide to take a risk and venture to the other ship, and bing bang boom disasters cause the crew to die off one by one. As disaster movies go it follows the formula, many people draw heavy parallels to the film Event Horizon. The stories are quite similar, but there is one significant difference, this one is actually REALLY GOOD. Sure the story isn’t fantastic, but that’s the weakest link in a fantastic film.

Acting: There are less than a dozen characters in this film, one of them is a computer, so there is nowhere to hide, and each actor delivers. No single actor stands out, but suffice to say each one does a great job, it’s in the subtleties, each actor feels more like a member of the crew than people on a set. Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, Inception) it the lead as Capa, the crew’s nuclear physicist. I guess i’ll retract my last statement, though they are all awesome; Chris Evans (Fantastic 4, Captain America) never really had roles to demonstrate him as an actor (though he now has done so quite well) and in this film he’s surprising, a part of a hardass would seem simple, but he manages to give it some personality and depth. I like the character and feel sad when they inevitably perish.

Visual: It’s a shame that Danny Boyle (28 days later, Slumdog Millionaire) and his cinematographer and visual director didn’t get any recognition for this film. It is in every sense of the word gorgeous!! The biggest sensation passed by the film is claustrophobia and total aloneness (if that’s a word). Every shot is subtle cramped by the bulkheads of the ship, even more so when there are spacesuits involved. The suits have cameras mounted within them so you get to see the actors in a VERY confined space and without the standard giant visor on the spacesuit. When outside the ship, there is nothing else there, there are no stars, no planets, absolutely nothing, just the Icarus and the Sun growing ever closer. The crowning moment of awesome (that won’t spoil anything) visually is mercury, i won’t go into detail, but i’ll throw up a link. trust me, it is visual gold. Sadly, very few love movies just because they’re amazing to look at.

Sound: This film SHOULD have at least gotten an oscar nomination for sound or audio or anything of the sort. This film reminds us that sound it’s all there is, there is substance in silence, there is beauty in simplicity. The crew must have had a lot to work on, between the pings and beeps of the ship countered against the crushing silence of nothing and somehow translating the intense light of the sun into noise (sure it’s fake but it works). My total praise goes to John Murphy (Kickass, 28 Days Later) for composing. As I said before, simplicity doesn’t mean bad. The score is very simple, but extremely elegant and moving. You’ve probably heard the main tune: Adagio in D Minor It’s been used in some films/shows and a lot of trailers. I love it, but i’m weird :) .

Overall: I don’t think non movie people will really appreciate this film, Its fairly slow and isn’t really sensational compared to disaster movies of the decade. But since you’re here reading this blog, I’m fairly certain you’re not one of those people. If you haven’t seen it, you should, either to find you like it too or just to prove i’ve got no taste. One of the little things i love about it is that MOST of the physics are realistic, they put in genuine effort to be scientifically accurate, and the final product is pretty close. It is gorgeous, it is very well made, it’s an all-around good movie. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Please go see it.

Once again feel free to request reviews. I think how i’m gonna run the site is i write one of my own each weekend and write request reviews as they come in, at least until it picks up. Thanks for reading.

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