Wednesday, 18 July 2007


Film. Of. The. Year.

Yeah I know that’s a big statement, but seriously I thought this film was amazing! To me it was almost perfect on every single level, great cast, great atmosphere, great effects (cgi, miniatures and sound), great cinematography, great directing, great pacing and it created so much tension I was literally on the edge of my seat. In a word – Great.

I can’t remember the last time I was pulled so much into a movie world, I was really invested in the characters and felt like I was there with them. Everything just clicked into place.

The way all the characters interact and talk to each other, just feels right. It doesn’t seem scripted, it’s a bunch of astronauts doing their job and talking amongst themselves. There’s no great character stereotypes either (like oh we have jock or a cheerleader or anything stupid like that), everyone has there own personalities and quirks but it’s much more subtle.

For me the two standouts are easily Cillian Murphy and Chris Evans. I suppose in this very much ensemble piece Cillian is the main character, he’s the most important and he probably gets the majority of screen time. But Evans definitely emerges as the favourite. He just has this cocky charisma about him, and says the things you’d want to say in the same situation. He gets all the little quirky one-liners without them coming across as such.

“There’s not enough oxygen left for all of us.”
“Are you suggesting we let Han kill himself?”

The sound design is phenomenal, every time you view the ship from outer space, there’s an eerie humming silence that feels the cinema. It wraps around you and makes your hairs stand on end. It gave me the sensation of floating through space, where there really is nothing for millions of miles in any direction. (Oh, bit of advice, watch this in a cinema with a good sound system.)

The set design is incredible, it feels real, like this is actually what the interior of a space ship would be like. It’s not crazy or uniquely designed to try and standout as being different, the fact that it’s be grounded in a sense of reality makes it believable.

The CGI is all top-notch, some of the best I have ever seen in a film. It is flawless in every aspect. The ship (Icarus II) is incredibly detailed and there are shots that completely spin around it, so by the end of the film you have seen it from every angle.

The sun itself is magnificent, a sight to behold. Whether it’s people just looking at it from a distance or it’s exploding in furious flames. It feels powerful, you get a true sense of the huge amount of energy this things gives out and it’s unrelenting.

The cinematography deserves special mention. Every shot is nigh on perfect and framed to a tee, the whole film looks beautiful, whether it’s the steely blues of the ships interior or the ferocious reds and oranges of the sun. The details and clarity that has been captured is truly astounding and I can’t wait to see this in Hi-Def when it’s on DVD.

Okay so having all these elements in a film doesn’t necessarily make it great, it can look pretty and sound amazing but if it hasn’t got a strong story at it’s core to pull it all together it’s in trouble.

The story from a purely conceptual standpoint I really dug (whether or not it’s possible is another question), but I just thought it was fairly original. Sending a crew to our dying sun to re-ignite it with the equivalent of a nuclear bomb, excellent.

Of course, this is just a concept and all of this is established in the first minute. The script has to turn it into a 2 hour long film that is enjoyable to watch. And boy is it! From the start to the very end I was hooked, the pacing is perfect, moving on at a brisk pace but always giving room for character development. It builds more and more tension as it goes on and you really get attached to the characters to the point where I was screaming in my head “Get the hell out of there!!”

I loved it. When the shit hits the fan it just keeps escalating and they turn up the temperature again and again.

By the end when it turns almost into a slasher movie, with a crazed lunatic running about the ship taking out the survivors one by one, it goes into full gear. I loved the fact that they never let you see the psycho clearly either (the blur effects were a nice touch), it makes him just that bit more menacing.

The set pieces are all marvellous and original, with the sun being used to it’s full menacing potential. Everything about this film shines class. I can’t believe it was made on budget of £40m either, it puts the other action directors (ones with budgets of £300m) to shame.

Danny Boyle really should be credited with making an outstanding piece of cinema. This is by far the best film I have seen this year and I can’t see anything coming close to beating it.


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