A film of ludicrous villains and fallacious MacGuffins. Not only does it pretend to a scientific standard that it falls short of, it fails even to remain narratively consistent throughout its largely schematic arc. For example, Capa is apparently the only person outside Icarus who can operate the payload; but, as we see in the final kamikaze sequence, 'operating the payload' is no more complicated than turning a dial (albeit quite dramatically) and then flicking up four switches.

What's more, the characters are a farrago of egoists, realists, catastrophists, and hotheads, entirely devoid of interest and credibility. Cillian Murphy, who plays the spaceship's esteemed physicist, is about as believable as Jeremy Renner's blockhead boffin in Arrival. Unphysical and confused reports come tumbling out of his mouth with the utmost seriousness ('Between the boosters and the gravity of the sun, the velocity of the payload will become so great that space and time will become smeared together'); and to his further discredit, a thorny calculation involving orbital mechanics and fuel expenditure is reduced to him gazing at some flashy animation and asking Siri to 'run the math'.

Inaccuracies abound: weightlessness is adhered to on a whim; whooshing sounds accompany every solar flare and chunk of passing debris; and the premise itself, of nuking the sun to kickstart nucleosynthesis, would set Hans Bethe spinning in his grave. Which is all the more embarrassing when you learn that Brian Cox, long-time science communicator and professor of particle physics at the University of Manchester, served as the scientific advisor on the film, going so far as to give lectures to the cast and crew on pertinent aspects of space physics. Garland, it would seem, feel asleep during those addresses.

As Cox later admitted, the whooshing was permitted because without it the CGI shots seemed 'cheap'. I dare say he was onto something.

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