They just don’t make Super Bowl commercials like they used to. Despite this year’s lackluster lineup of commercials, the Super Bowl was able to give us at least one exciting gem with the first look at this summer’s highly anticipated Captain America: The First Avenger, starring Chris Evans as Cap. What does the Captain America trailer have to do with this weeks 52 Pick-Up, you ask? Let me connect the dots for you. In one of the many movie talks between myself and Mr. Knize, K-Nice if you’re nasty, the topic of Captain America came up. I fear that although Chris Evans looks the part of Cap, he won’t be able to actually pull off the role of Captain America. Don’t get me wrong, I dig Chris Evans as an actor and Marlon Wayans, of all people, has proven that mainly playing the same type of character doesn’t mean that you don’t have range. He proves this with his role in Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream, but this is Captain America we are talking about. Would Evans be able to drop his “smart ass” shtick, one that he has perfected in his other roles such as The Fantastic Four’s Johnny Storm or Jensen from The Losers, and be able to channel the spirit of our nation’s greatest all-American hero and avoid being lynched by comic book fans world wide? K-Nice’s example that Evans could in fact pull off Cap was his role as Mace in Danny Boyle’s Sci-Fi thriller Sunshine, which brings us full circle to my week 7 52 Pick-Up choice, Sunshine.
First, I would like to take a moment to point out that if you’re reading this article and you have not seen all of Danny Boyle’s films, you have a homework assignment: Watch a Danny Boyle movie a week until you are caught up to his latest Oscar buzz-worthy film 127 Hours. That is all, class, now back to the review.
Sunshine follows a crew of scientists and astronauts on a mission of hope and theory to release a payload into the Sun, which is dying, in hopes of creating a man made “Big Bang” event that will create a star within a star, giving new life to the Sun and keeping Earth alive. Adding the the stress and importance of the mission is the fact that they are not the first crew to attempt the mission and if they fail, it would take all of Earth’s scientists more time than the dying Sun will give them to produce another payload, making Icarus 2’s mission Earth’s last hope of survival. The mission seems to be on track until a mysterious seven year old distress signal from Icarus 1 is picked up by Icarus 2, forcing the crew to make a choice between staying on course, not allowing anything to jeopardize the mission, or taking the risk of following the distress signal back to Icarus 1. They hope to save any crew that may have survived the seven years in space and recover Icarus 1’s payload, giving them two chances to create the “Big Bang”.
As with all Danny Boyle films, Sunshine is cast with a solid mix of star actors, with Chris Evans and Cillian Murphy, who plays Capa, along with a superb cast of costars including Cliff Curtis as Searle and Michelle Yeoh as Corazon, who can all hold their own alongside any major actor. Boyle, just like Christopher Nolan, has proven on a consistent basis with his work that he belongs in the upper echelon of directors, while showing no sign of slowing down or falling off. The man was put on this earth for one main reason, to make great films. Just as with director/composer duo of Darren Aronofsky and Clint Mansell, Boyle has teamed up with composer John Murphy, who has worked with Boyle on four of his previous projects. John Murphy brings Sunshine a Sci-Fi fueled score mixed with the sounds and emotions of the elements of the sun. I’m really not sure if that made any sense but trust me, when you hear the score set to Boyle’s images, you’ll get it.
What keeps you on your toes with Sunshine is how Boyle stylishly fits what seems to be four types of Sci-Fi flicks into one great flowing movie. Sunshine isn’t full of gimmicky twists that act as a crutch for the story but rather full of skillfully placed different Sci-Fi genre elements that take the story in directions that you wouldn’t expect it to go.
The bottom line on Sunshine is that Danny Boyle brings you a visually stunning Sci-Fi thriller set to an amazing score, fueled by a great story, with a solid cast that carries the film into greatness. Going back to the earlier question of whether or not Chris Evans can pull of the role of Captain America, let’s just say that Sunshine will make you a Chris Evans believer. Let’s see if we can say the same of Ryan Reynolds in The Green Lantern.