COSMIC SIN (2021)
Bruce Willis, Frank Grillo, Brandon Thomas Lee, Corey Large, C.J. Perry, Lochlyn Munro, Costas Mandylor, Perrey Reeves, Adelaide Kane, Johnny Messner, Eva De Dominici
Directed by Edward Drake
Remember when Bruce Willis made the news a couple of months ago for getting kicked out of Walgreens for refusing to mask up? You can expect a 180 this Friday when his new film, the sci-fi dud “Cosmic Sin” is released. He’ll probably be wearing a ski mask in public. Filled with truly horrible dialogue, a senseless plot, futuristic gibberish, and special effects that range from good to Ed Wood sub-par, this film deserves the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” treatment. Willis delivers a lackluster performance while baddie Frank Grillo takes a backseat with a handful of scenes instead of being front and center to blast the film out of mediocrity.
The year is 2524, almost 500 years after we colonized Mars and formed The Alliance. Thanks to something called Quantum Propulsion Technology we now have the ability to roam the cosmos flying through space in suits (no ship needed). However, back on Earth people are still driving what looks like a 2021 Ford pickup on the freeways while Blade Runner-style spaceships fill the night sky. Filmed in Georgia, it looks as though writer-director Edward Drake shot B-roll footage on Atlanta’s I-285 and added CGI flying cars.
Hollywood’s #1 tough guy, Frank Grillo plays Gen. Ryle who’s driving around in his truck when he gets a phone call that a couple of mining employees have reported an FC Incident (as in “First Contact”). I guess centuries from now we’re still no closer to discovering alien life. That’s about to change and not for the better.
We find out the aliens are hostile and want to take over our bodies. The survivors of the FC encounter are sent to McMillian Airfield for decontamination and questioning but nobody notices that the group either just returned from goth night at the local bar or the aliens have now taken over their bodies. Other overlooked clues include the Predator-style purring sounds being emitted and coughing up black goop (although it could just be the Molly).
It’s a good thing that Ryle had this team contact James Ford (Willis) aka “The Blood General” who dropped a Q-Bomb on 17 million rebels from the Zafdie colony when they tried to secede from the Alliance. He may have been brought on to just observe and advise but Ford is ready to start nuking all over again. His first piece of advice, “One thing, if I were you, prepare a Q-Bomb.”
Willis seems bored through the film delivering a dull performance that makes it obvious he’s just here to collect a paycheck. When the airfield is being attacked by the space invaders, no one but Ford thinks about increasing the firepower, so we get to watch Willis casually walk over to the weapons arsenal and grab a giant space bazooka to blast the body snatchers to kingdom come (mic drop).
The dialogue, written by Drake and Corey Large (who also plays Dash, the wisecracking Willis sidekick) is so bad that the one-liners aren’t even funny. When Dr. Lea Goss (Perrey Reeves) calls the aliens “Amazing” team member Alex Locke (Lochlyn Munro) responds, “You wanna f—ck it or kill it?” When Ryle asks Ford, “You really think you got what it takes to get this job done?” Ford responds, “Ask me that again, I dare ya” without one ounce of passion.
There are a couple of impressive effects, but they are ruined by bad green screen CGI, while some of the body armor resembles parts leftover from a Transformers movie. When Ryle comments, “We didn’t know whether to burn it or put it in a museum” about the bulky gear worn by Ford, he responds “I’m sure they said the same thing about me.”
The one person that could have salvaged the whole film is Frank Grillo, but he’s forced to take a backseat to Willis thus reducing his screen time. He should have been cast as Ford and Willis as Ryle but even then “Cosmic Sin” would still suffer from the jumbled story and bad writing.
In theaters and on-Demand Friday.