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Cosmic Sin (2021) Review

I had a feeling Cosmic Sin was going to have issues less than a minute into the film. According to the opening text, we’ll have a colony on Mars in 2031. This is 2021, and we still have people who think the world is flat and vaccines cause autism. We’ll be lucky if we’re not back to burning people at the stake for saying the Earth revolves around the sun by then, let alone living on Mars.

A more concrete reason to worry, however, is that the film was directed by Edward Drake, who co-wrote it with Corey Large. They’re the guys who wrote the other recent Bruce Willis vs aliens film, Breach. And we all know how that turned out.

It’s now 2524, and we now have several colonies scattered across the galaxy. One of which is on the receiving end of humanity’s first encounter with another spacefaring race. Upon being told General Ryle (Frank Grillo, Jiu Jitsu, Boss Level) doesn’t even wait to hear the details, he tells his aid to find and bring in James Ford (Bruce Willis, Die Hard, Death Wish).

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Ford was a respected general until he dropped a Q Bomb on a colony trying to secede from The Alliance, wiping out all 70 million people on the planet. He and his former second in command Dash (Corey Large) immediately advise preparing a Q Bomb. After finding out the hard way that these aliens can possess bodies, General Ryle decides that they can’t wait for the government to make a decision. The only thing to do is mount a covert mission to use the bomb on the aliens’ homeworld.

Cosmic Sin is, to put it mildly, a disaster. Starting with our first view of Earth, five hundred years from now. It looks like the present except for some CGI craft in the sky. People still drive pickup trucks and motorcycles on the highway, and architecture hasn’t changed. And despite developing planet-destroying Q Bombs, we still use old-school firearms.

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Then there’s the whole idea that Cosmic Sin wants us to accept that General Ford was treated poorly for what he did. I get that the disgraced military hero character is an archetype, but this guy committed straight-up genocide. He killed 70,000,000 men women and children. We hung Nazis for having a hand in killing less than a tenth of that. He got a dishonourable discharge and lost his pension. I’d say he got off easy.

As if that’s not enough, it’s the humans that fire the first shots in this war. Someone hears a noise in the dark and starts blazing away at whatever’s out there without trying to find out if it’s a friend, foe or a wild animal. But that’s a minor detail, given a throwaway line late in the film. If they weren’t going to do something with that idea, how hard would it have been to simply skip it and have the aliens shoot first?

Ok, I hear you saying Cosmic Sin is a simple piece of military sci-fi action, and I’m overthinking it. Taking it on that level, it isn’t much better. His team consists of himself, Ford, and Dash along with Doctor Goss (Perrey Reeves, Child’s Play 3, The Jurassic Games) who, by coincidence, is also Ford’s ex-wife, career soldier Marcus Bleck (Costas Mandylor, Death Count, Incision) and Ryle’s son Braxton (Brandon Thomas Lee). The usual clichéd group that would never happen in reality.

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Adding insult to injury, top-billed Grillo disappears at about the halfway mark, not that he was on-screen much before that, and reappears at the end. This means we get Willis sleepwalking his way through yet another role as the film’s focal point. It’s depressing watching Grillo slip into the Bruce Willis phase of his career and Willis go into the Danny Trejo phase of his in the same movie.

There are some nice effects, and they do a reasonable job of making warehouses look like hangars and such. But the action scenes staged in them are flat, lacklustre and full of people running into the open to get shot. Not that there are that many action scenes, anyway. Cosmic Sin is long on talking about what to do, and short on actually doing it. Overlong at eighty-eight minutes, Cosmic Sin is a failure as entertainment. But if you need to feel good about committing genocide twice over, it might cheer you up.

Saban Films will release Cosmic Sin theatrically in the US on March 12th. Paramount will distribute it in the rest of the world. You can check Saban’s website and Facebook page for more info.

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