It seems strange to think that Bruce Willis was once one of the biggest movie stars alive, as nowadays all that his performances indicate is how little he cares any more. The latest in a lengthy series of questionable choices, sci-fi Cosmic Sin, will be arriving on Netflix next month.
The story is set 500 years in the future, after first contact with an alien intelligence on a distant mining planet. When an investigating squad of soldiers return and apparently nobody notices them looking and behaving decidedly non-humanlike before they attack, it’s decided to launch a counterstrike against the extraterrestrials.
Willis plays James Ford, a disgraced general previously responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people when he dropped a WMD on a rebel colony attempting to secede from an alliance with Earth, a backstory that has absolutely no relevance to the plot other than as introductory filler and to avoid the need for anything resembling characterization or development.
The film pulls narratively, visually and thematically from multiple, far better sci-fi efforts such as Aliens, Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Independence Day, and even Willis’ own Armageddon, but miserably fails to invoke even a fraction of their quality. Lackluster action scenes see the woodlands of rural Georgia unconvincingly stand in for an alien world, the tinted lighting of futuristic devices and weapons failing to summon a high-tech feel. Numbers are made up by an assortment of interchangeable characters with barely a single functioning personality between them, and attempts at dry humor fall utterly flat while cod-philosophical moralizing is painfully forced.
There are no two ways about it, Cosmic Sin is quite simply a truly atrocious film in which, like pretty much anything he’s done over the last decade, Bruce Willis rarely looks anything other than utterly bored. Such is its lack of anything resembling an actual plot it’s over before it barely feels like its begun, but for something this tedious that’s actually a good thing.