Studio: Saban Films
Director: Edward Drake
Writer: Edward Drake, Corey Large
Producer: Corey Large
Stars: Frank Grillo, Bruce Willis, Brandon Thomas Lee, Corey Large, Perrey Reeves, C.J. Perry, Lochlyn Munro, Costas Mandylor
In the year 2524, a ragtag military team assembles to combat a parasitic alien species that threatens to take over Earth.
Remember when Bruce Willis used to be a reason to see a movie? Now when you notice his face poorly Photoshopped onto art for straight-to-streaming schlock, you know your money would be better spent by donating to a presidential campaign for Foghorn Leghorn.
When we last saw our fallen big screen star, he was being booted out of a Los Angeles CVS for refusing to wear a face mask, even though he had one hanging around his neck. Before that though, Willis and a bald stand-in who filmed 50% of his footage featured in ¡°Breach¡± (review here), a B-movie bomb that asked the question, ¡°What happened that Bruce Willis now takes throwaway half-day gigs that usually go to Danny Trejo?¡±
Part of that mystery was semi-solved when ¡°Breach¡¯s¡± credits connected executive producer Stephen Eads to a production company co-founded with Willis and his brother. ¡°Cosmic Sin¡± seems to have similar circumstances. Both films were written by Corey Large and Edward Drake, the former of whom co-stars in ¡°Cosmic Sin¡± while the latter now takes the director¡¯s chair too. Eads also returns alongside 16 additional executive producers, or one for every 20 seconds of Bruce Willis screen time. It would appear that as long as Willis remains linked to this team, we can expect to keep seeing him sigh his way through DTV ghettos until Willis repays his debt to whatever demon blackmailed him into doing this in the first place.
¡°Cosmic Sin¡¯s¡± first two minutes force-feed exposition faster than the text can be fully digested. In 2031, Earth colonized Mars. In 2042, ¡®The Alliance¡¯ formed as quantum technology allowed humans to continue colonizing the cosmos. The Mars colony failed in 2281, leaving The Alliance to rule over the planets Earth, Zafdie, and Ellora. When Zafdie attempted secession in 2519, ¡°Blood General¡± James Ford detonated a Q-bomb that murdered millions of rebels. Now it¡¯s 2524 and the Vander Mining Corporation has made first contact with a hostile alien race on planet 4217LYA.
This whole heap of hooey can go right down the toilet next to your rental fee because ¡°Cosmic Sin¡¯s¡± setup boils down to a simple ¡°humans vs. aliens¡± conflict. If you¡¯ve seen ¡°Breach,¡± I¡¯m sorry for you first of all, but you¡¯ll find ¡°Cosmic Sin¡± follows identical beats. Parasites possess human hosts. Firefights ensue. Frank Grillo takes Thomas Jane¡¯s place as a grizzled general who conveniently disappears mid-movie (Jane went into cryo-sleep while Grillo gets stuck in space) and later returns for one more minute to blow himself up as a heroic sacrifice. Willis repeats his role too: a disgraced former fighter whose unique skills make him the only veteran equipped to combat this interstellar threat. ¡°Breach¡± began evaporating from my memory before its end credits rolled. But the more of it I remember, the more I realize ¡°Cosmic Sin¡± is pretty much the same story right down to each clich¨¦d character.
The main difference is ¡°Cosmic Sin¡± gives action film fans a dream team-up: Frank Grillo and Bruce Willis side-by-side as you¡¯ve always wanted to see them ¨C sitting next to each other at a conference table, talking about taking down aliens instead of actually doing it together.
¡°Cosmic Sin¡¯s¡± inert action wouldn¡¯t earn as many yawns if its gunplay, and there is a lot of it, was choreographed with creative staging that utilized the environments, props, and authentic actor interplay. Instead, combat consists entirely of cutting from one person firing a weapon to a different person firing a weapon. Hectic things happen, except they¡¯re only engaging if you¡¯re entertained by muzzle flashes or stuntmen somersaulting around a warehouse.
Like ¡°Breach,¡± ¡°Cosmic Sin¡± gets more guff because its recognizable actors elevate expectations. Replace the names with nobodies and fans might forgive the film as a valiant indie effort. The experienced actors aren¡¯t all the way on autopilot, even Bruce Willis shows faint signs of a pulse while leaning against a bar slugging shots, though they¡¯re definitely operating on low power mode.
And why not? Everyone knows they¡¯re in a minor movie readymade for Sunday night on Syfy. ¡°Cosmic Sin¡± squeaks along on cable TV-quality FX, which aren¡¯t tip-top for a feature film, although they give ¡°Stargate¡± reruns a run for their meager money at least. Using a measuring stick for late 1990s syndication, ¡°Cosmic Sin¡± would fare ok. What wouldn¡¯t fare as well are lame lines like ¡°do you want to f*ck it or kill it?¡± and ¡°being sucked off by the universe doesn¡¯t sound like the worst way to go.¡± It¡¯s good to see cinematic military men still have childish senses of humor 400 years in the future.
Maybe you¡¯re looking for a movie where Bruce Willis sulks like an annoyed automaton and the other big-billed star vanishes during a redundant midsection? Lucky you now has two forgettable films to choose from. For that scenario, I¡¯ll say this. If you¡¯re in the market for low-budget VOD sci-fi, and you¡¯re forced to decide between ¡°Breach¡± and ¡°Cosmic Sin¡±¡ you need to seriously reevaluate what kind of limited entertainment options you have access to.
Review Score: 40