Review Roundup - Kaneda??


A director like Danny Boyle venturing back into to the creepy stuff is always good news. His more human films are often excellent, but I do have a thing for horror and suspense when they're done well. Throw in some science fiction style exploration, some existential dread and a few set pieces involving the vacuum of space and I'm good to go.

This time around it's a homage to the designs of 2001, Alien and even Event Horizon which is pretty good on its own terms, even if the third act is a little out of nowhere initially. It gets less jarring with repeat views at least, though it's shame the scope of a cinema screen is lost when you watch it later on home video. In terms of the general plots the idea they can restart our Sun with nuclear bomb of some kind remains a little silly to me (where did they ever find enough material to make this device?) but it's still an entertaining look at things going wrong in space.

The psychological aspects of the mission are touched on perhaps a little too lightly, but there are plenty of mission screw up tropes that get played out to great effect. It's an atmospheric thriller rather than one that goes into depth about the crew getting irritated with other as the mistakes pile up and the space madness grows. They do get a bit stir crazy before the all critical mission errors arise, but I guess they'd be prepared for this kind of thing despite the on board shrink being flaky and the engineer having anger problems. They're hardly the right stuff.

The design work is pretty nice and the big vista shots are amongst the high points, with the striking design of the shield-ship and the space suits allowing for some really good imagery. The third act comes up with a few story turning points that could have been dealt with better, but I figure that people fighting against someone that wants them to fail is interesting enough. Humans having to deal with fate or destiny and coming up against those who feel that it shouldn't be pushed against is a solid concept. Overall this is mostly a good time, and much of it works effectively regardless of those weaker elements.