Cosmic Sin Synopsis: In the year 2524, four centuries after humans started colonizing the outer planets, retired Gen. James Ford (Bruce Willis) gets called back into service after a hostile alien fleet attacks soldiers on a remote planet. The threat against mankind soon escalates into an interstellar war as Ford and a team of elite soldiers try to stop the imminent attack before it’s too late.
After decades of being a headliner on the silver screen, Bruce Willis has transitioned to the menial yet busy reality of VOD action stardom (Willis has been in six films over the last two years alone). As Willis’ gruff persona continues to morph into detached disinterest, it has started to show in his slapdash efforts.
While propped up with glimmers of filmmaking ingenuity, the star’s latest low-budget vehicle Cosmic Sin lands with an oppressive sense of deja vu. This wayward science fiction effort likely won’t be remembered long after its inconsequential narrative hits the closing credits.
For a film with clear B-movie intentions, Cosmic Sin needlessly complicates the proceedings. Edward Drake and Corey Large strike a few humorous chords with their machismo banter (characters swear with reckless abandon), but their narrative gets bloated in a mush of meaningless world-building. Early scenes throw window dressing information at the audience without any cohesiveness or personality. It’s a screenplay that feels drawn from a bin of formulaic efforts, never establishing an identity to color the familiar trappings.
While indie efforts can imbue enough spirit to conceal their limitations, Cosmic Sin ignites little with its auto-pilot delivery. The action beats are pushed aside for wordy frames of exposition, with the script’s development creating characters far too inert to care for. It would help if the film’s marquee stars propped up the stagnant writing, yet most of the runtime goes by with them being nowhere to be found. Frank Grillo has nothing to do in a passing-by role, while Bruce Willis seems half-asleep in his emptily gruff role. There’s nothing of interest here when the action isn’t onscreen.
Misgivings aside, Cosmic Sin presents a few sparks of promise. Edward Drake’s direction shows glimmers of arresting visceral scale, hitting soaring heights within a few high-flying space sequences. Drake playfully honors his 80’s influences while finding inspired ways to dress up blandly-flavored scenes. He certainly props up the standard-issue formula, keeping audiences somewhat involved even when the material isn’t up to snuff.
Cosmic Sin isn’t a complete misfire, but its sluggish runtime doesn’t strike any chords worth remembering.
Cosmic Sin is In Theaters, On Demand and On Digital March 12, 2021.
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