Jeri Jacquin, Movie Maven
Coming to REELZ CHANNEL from director Michael Robison on Monday, September 9th at 8 p.m. is the next film from the station that brings you the best in sci-fi with EXPLODING SUN.
This film tells the story of Dr. Craig Bakus (Anthony Lemke), a scientist who is about to launch the Roebling Clipper Aurora into space. What makes this launch special is that it is the first ever trans-lunar ship taking civilians on the ride of their lives.
Those on board include First Lady Simone Mathany (Jane Wheeler), entrepreneur Roebling (Bruce Dinsmore), Dr. Denise Balaban (Mylene Dinh-Robic) along with pilot Fiona Shaw (Allison Graham).
At mission control everyone is excited but that diminishes quickly when a solar burst causes chaos for the Aurora. As it spins out of control, President Mathany (Frank Schorpion) calls on his science advisor Cheryl Wincroft (Natalie Brown) and her husband former NASA astronaut Don Wincroft (David James Elliot) to help. The President is also having to watch his back as John Maclaren (Alan Elias) has ideas of his own taking Lemke out of the picture.
This doesn’t bode well for Dr. Bakus because Cheryl is his ex-wife and Don is his former best friend. As personalities collide so does the potential for disaster on Earth. Along with communications technician Reggie Walker (Alexandre Weiner) they all must pull together to find a solution.
The rest of the world is watching and praying for an answer!
FINAL WORD: Lemke as Bakus is a scientist who is smart but has several issues. One being a woman who wants a relationship and two not knowing that he’s not over the situation with his ex! That’s a lot to juggle when trying to save the planet. Yet, Lemke keeps it focused (with moments of aggravation) and a guy I would trust to out think everyone!
Dinh-Robic as Dr. Balaban is Bakus’ only way to know what’s happening on board and emotionally tied to him. Brown as Wincroft tries to keep the peace but manages instead to alienate her ex-husband further. Especially when Elliot as Don Wincroft enters the picture. There are a few scenes I had to wonder how Bakus kept his cool because I certainly would have been taken out by MP’s a hell of a lot sooner!
Weiner as Reggie is the guy you want on your side but at the same time know he is going to follow who ever is in charge. Schorpion as the President is also dealing with double emotions and keeping an eye on the dagger Elias, as Maclaren seems to be carrying. Can you say envious much?
The passengers of the Aurora including Wheeler, Dinsmore, and Graham have an emotional scene that is tissue worthy and give it a little more heart.
Other cast include: Bruce Dinsmore as Peter Roebling, Allison Graham as Fiona Henslaw, Richard Jutras as Roger Lynch, Robert Crooks as JJ Elias, Charlotte Legault as Lara Mathany, Cristina Rosato as Marta Hernandez and Julie Ormond as Joan Elias.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give EXPLODING SUN three tubs of popcorn out of five. This is a decent sci-fi flick to be sure. I have to say that I actually liked that it didn’t try to sugar coat things (and without spoiling it you’ll know what I mean when you see it – think bacon!). The cgi is pretty cool as well with the huge ball of sun with the solar flare popping out.
The characters can be a little over done in brief moments but that did not stop me in any way from enjoying the story. This has hints of AMAGEDDON but not, DEEP IMPACT but not, even INDEPENDENCE DAY but not. Yes, I’m no help here because I want the watcher to watch without ruining twists and turns that most definitely happen.
There are stories within stories that add to the humanity of the film. Everyone reacting from those in the space ship, to the control room, to the families affected by what is happening. This is definitely good solid entertainment for fans of the disaster genre (which I admit to being one of).
In the end – preparing for the inevitable seems like the last and terrifying option!