review: Sunshine

The movie, not the book by Robin McKinley.

It starts out well, if you handwave the initial premise: the sun is dying, there's a crew piloting a ginormous bomb that's supposed to jump-start the sun again--the second one, after the first attempt failed for unknown reasons. The first, oh, twenty minutes or so are a pretty believable look at what it might be like to be stuck in a rather small space with a small number of people for years, knowing that you're humanity's last chance for survival. (Or something like that.)

And then they receive an automated distress signal from the first bomb/ship, and have the choice of trying to salvage the bomb. Which they do, but in the process there's a series of accidents, resulting in loss the oxygen garden and the captain. And when they arrive on board the first ship, they discover that it's been crippled, and they can't do anything with it.

(Apparently the captain of the first crew went crazy, and either killed his crew, or talked them into mass-suicide, which is believable, I suppose. Stuck out in space for that long, a man's liable to go a bit screwy.)

And there are more accidents, and a couple more people die. Still fairly believable, still fairly well-written. But it turns out that the crazy captain somehow survived, got onto the ship, and is trying to sabotage the mission and kill everybody. Basically, what starts out as a sci-fi psychological thriller turns into a slasher horror film.

So I was disappointed. Actually fast-forwarded through the last fifteen minutes or so, once it was obvious that they were going to die one by one.
I've heard this movie rec'd elsewhere. It sounds a lot like this other movie - Solar Crisis, Solar something, I can't remember. Only in that movie, it was a giant solar flare that was going to destroy the earth, and this ship had to fly to the sun and deliver this missile that would redirect it. This woman was brainwashed into sabataging the whole thing, but somehow ended up breaking through the brainwash and flying the missile herself into the sun. It had Corin Nemec (Jonas Quinn on SG-1) in it. He played the son of the ship's captain, and was having his own problems down on earth. It was a pretty good movie. Wierd, but good.
Well, I looked Solar Crisis up in imdb, and it's Japanese, which probably explains the weirdness. (And in the process I discovered that Corin Nemec is apparently a Scientologist, which is a shame.)

Sounds like there are some similarities between the two movies, but the focus of Sunshine is what happens when people are stuck on a spaceship--the only time we see earth is at the very end, when the sun is reignited.