“Cosmic Sin” is a fine example of how much science fiction you can put on the screen these days, even after paying Frank Grillo and Bruce Willis took most of your budget.
It’s not a “fine example” of anything else.
A 500 years in the future “first contact” alien war tale, it’s more or less the worst shoot-em-up video game you’ve ever played.
And Willis? He’s a disgraced military leader, an exemplar of “It takes a monster to kill a monster” rationalization.
“The old suit’s a little tight,” his scientist ex (Perrey Reeves) notes.
“Needs a little more paint, just like me,” General Ford (Willis) cracks.
That’s about it for his “performance” here. His character is summoned as the only man ever to use “the Q-bomb” on a civilian population, during wars against rebellious Earth colonies years ago.
The Q-Bomb? The same one that Dr. Kokintz invented in the 1950s Cold War satire “The Mouse that Roared?” No? I digress.
Aliens who take possession of human hosts are the target here. That saves money on CGI and alien makeup. A little Goth pancake, Johnny Depp black hair-dye, and we’re good.
“Mankind mastered ballistics, their species mastered biology” Dr. Lea (Reeves) reasons.
“Everything’s gonna be OK. The good guys are here, now.” Sure, we’re buying it.
I like the quasi-“Blade Runner” future that director and co-writer Edward Drake and his designers cooked up. Robot bartenders, holographic honky tonk bands on a digital stage, “quantum gates” and “Iron Army” soldiers all suited up like Iron Man, zipping through space and hitting the beaches on faraway planets to bring the fight to the enemy in Operation Cosmic Sin.
Then there’s the fact that everybody’s still packing semi-automatic pistols and Grillo’s General Ryle still drives an F-150 — in 2524.
The dialogue is still riddled “It is what it is,” meaning sports radio nerd Mike Greenberg must still be on the air.
Combat jargon is of the “Do you think aliens have music? Will they pay my bar-tab?” and “Let’s go merc some aliens” variety.
“Let nobody accuse you of being a poet.” Exactly.
And in a career steadily more weighed down with embarrassing credits, Willis squints occasionally to prove that he’s not actually sleep-walking through this.
MPA Rating: R for language including some sexual references, and violence
Cast: Frank Grillo, Bruce Willis, Perrey Reeves, Brandon Thomas Lee, Corey Large, C.J. Perry and Costas Mandylor
Running time: 1:28