Story: By 2524, humans have left the confines of Earth behind and colonized throughout space, but hadn’t run into alien life, at least until now. General Ryle (Frank Grillo) is advised that scouts have stumbled upon another group of space explorers and of course, there is an instant call for defense and even pre-emptive strikes. To that end, Ryle calls in James Ford (Bruce Willis), a once respected general who used a lethal q-bomb to wipe out 70 million people, when one of the colonies wanted to break loose from the alliance. As soon as he learns of the situation, a q-bomb is put into the works and the wait begins for approval to use the device. But when it becomes clear the aliens have tricks unlike any humans have seen, can Ford and Ryle afford to wait?
Entertainment Value: I have to admit, Cosmic Sin had my interested piqued, as it looked better funded than most of Bruce Willis’ output from this era and the concept, space, aliens, and mind control, seemed to have some potential. I knew my expectations were going to be dashed when a wall of text started the movie, throwing a bunch of lore on screen to avoid the work of worldbuilding, so not off to a good or even passable open here. I will say Cosmic Sin does look glossier and slicker than Willis’ usual direct to video projects, but the corners cut become obvious quickly, from the lousy special effects to a script that refuses to entertain under any circumstances. I do like the armored suits involved, but that is about the most praise I can muster in this case. I don’t mind when movies have to be modest with effects and atmosphere due to budget issues, but Cosmic Sin makes little effort to make what is here mean something. This movie just makes no sense and doesn’t seem to care, it just wants to trot out Bruce Willis here and there, then throw in some low end visual effects. If even a small percentage of the potential was realized here, Cosmic Sin could have been watchable or a fun sci/fi popcorn flick, but the end result is a mess and a bore.
I am sure some folks will be lured in by Cosmic Sin, offered the chance for another sci/fi adventure with Bruce Willis. And the movie does deliver Willis in space, but he is by no means the lead and as with most of his direct to video work, his performance is rather mechanical. If you’ve seen other of Willis’ efforts from this time, just before he retired due to aphasia, then you know what to expect. Willis is able to look the part in most scenes and he does still look cool in the body suit, but aside from his dedicated fans, I doubt anyone will remember this turn. Frank Grillo has the lead and he’s passable, but feels like a generic action performer here. I don’t think he does anything to stand out or leave an impression, he covers the basics and that’s about it. I’ve seen better work from Grillo, but he has also had much better material to work in the past. The cast also includes Lochlyn Munro, Costas Mandylor, C.J. Perry, Brandon Thomas Lee, and Corey Large.