Danny Boyle’s foray into sci-fi spectacle, Sunshine, is an unabashedly hokey high-concept adventure. It follows eight astronauts on a space ship, their mission: to set off a bomb in the dying sun, thus reigniting the star.

Written by Boyle collaborator and novelist Alex Garland (28 Days Later, The Beach), the film opens with a plodding rehash of scenes from Alien, minus the tension, plus a lot of sci-fi techno-babble and computer graphics. Boyle seems to want it both ways, 2001 and Armageddon, and is left with nothing as a result.

The film is neither fun space adventure nor philosophically insightful. It’s just dull, and another in a line of vague regurgitations of past films without any of the thought or energy that went into creating the greatness of the originals.

The typically intense and engaging Cillian Murphy feels out of place here, as does Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s Michelle Yeoh. Also joining them is Chris Evans (Fantastic Four).

Boyle, director of such films as Trainspotting and Shallow Grave, is a talented, visually arresting filmmaker who usually attempts to make films with ideas lodged between the style and energy he brings to a story. Even a flawed film such as The Beach is an interesting failure. This failure, however, is not.

Grade: D

Sunshine is currently available.