Review by Adam Donato
Edward Drake writes and directs Cosmic Sin, a film starring some pretty notable names in the form of Frank Grillo and Bruce Willis. In the far distant future, humans have the first contact with an alien life form and things get hostile. The government known as The Alliance brings in former war hero, James Ford (played by Bruce Willis), to lead a team to commit genocide upon the alien species before they have the chance to do it to mankind. Just look at the poster and see the straight-to-DVD quality movie that this is.
One of the best parts of science fiction is being able to tackle heady themes and high concepts in a way that is relatable to the viewer. Cosmic Sin presents the main crew with the philosophical debate of whether they should commit genocide with a world-ending bomb called a Q bomb or do nothing. The latter option is so understated because it really isn’t a debate in the film. Ford had previously used the Q bomb to destroy 17 million people, so obviously that is his first option when faced with the threat of a hostile alien species. The rest of the group consists of non-military members such as engineers and government officials, but that doesn’t stop them from giving much of any resistance to the concept. The aliens don’t do anything to make this conflict more interesting as the one time they choose to have a conversation, they outright say that there is no coexistence possible. Maybe if there was some kind of doubt whether this was a kill or be killed situation, then the plot might be somewhat interesting, but it’s clearly a human good and alien bad kind of movie.
When athletes get older, analysts suggest they retire. Now acting isn't always as physically demanding like sports are, but there’s still a point when the professional is clearly showing signs of deteriorating in effectiveness. That being said, Bruce Willis should retire. Of course, he can do whatever he wants and if there’s money to be made, then by all means go secure that bag. If looking like an actor cares about the role in a movie is like getting a hit in baseball, then Willis would be hitting below .100 with many errors in the field. Even in great movies like 2012’s Looper, there are only brief moments when he shows an emotion other than indifference. Watching him in an action scene is just depressing at this point. Everyone remembers how great Die Hard is, and years down the road when his career is all said and done, audiences will remember that and not Cosmic Sin. Surely, the producers needed a name like Willis’s to bring some legitimacy to this sci-fi snoozefest, but he’s absolutely the worst part. As for the rest of the cast, Grillo is barely in the movie so why is he even on the poster? Honestly, the best character with the most personality in the movie was Costas Mandylor, most famous for his role in the bad Saw sequels.
Does it go without saying that the special effects are atrocious? As previously stated, look at the poster. The green screen is definitely a green screen. The filmmakers get away with creature design by having the aliens take over the bodies. Oh, how cringey it is hearing the voices of the aliens through the humans. Just drop the bass and make it sound electronic. When the aliens are just aliens on screen, they are hooded figures with giant claws. Nothing can be directly seen and watching them in combat is laughable. The human squad wears armor on their mission and it looks kind of cool. Just trying to find something redeemable.
It goes without saying this movie does not deserve to be seen in a theater. Renting it at home would be almost worse because home popcorn doesn’t compare to movie theater popcorn. Even streaming service movies are usually higher quality than this. Expect to find this movie in the free section of Vudu. It wouldn’t even be right to recommend this to fans of Bruce Willis as this is yet another stain on what was once a great career. There is nothing of value here except for the fact that the sci-fi channel needs movies like this to play at three in the morning.
Cosmic Sin hits theaters and VOD on March 12.