Cosmic Sin (2021)
July 20, 2021 7:37 PM - Subscribe

Seven rogue soldiers launch a preemptive strike against a newly discovered alien civilization in the hopes of ending an interstellar war before it starts.
posted by Kyol (18 comments total)
 
So IMDB is saying that this came out last spring, but Netflix has been pushing it hard lately, so I don't know if they finally picked it up for promotion or if someone lost a bet. If you've followed my commentary on movies here on FanFare, you know I'm pretty relaxed about a lot of dumb popcorn flicks. As long as it roughly holds together and keeps my attention, I'm pretty relaxed about dumb loud action sci-fi.

This is not that. This is just dumb. Incoherent. Incomprehensible. Poorly written. Poorly acted. Poorly plotted. One of those movies where you go "hey, Bruce Willis and Frank Grizzo are in it? How bad could it be?"

Bad. So bad. So very bad.

This is my warning. Save yourself the 90 minutes. Watch the grass grow instead. Learn about the delicacies of paint drying. Possibly watch a very large pot of water boil. Anything but this. I made it through the whole thing hoping that maybe it might get better in the second half, like maybe they had to save it in the edit, or COVID production requirements made it hard to get going.

The only positive thing I think I could say about it is that it's only 90 minutes long. I mean, there's the nut of an interesting concept in the story, but then you realize that you're describing, like, Event Horizon or maybe Sphere instead, and you're disappointed that it wasn't a better bad movie, y'know?
posted by Kyol at 7:47 PM on July 20 [6 favorites]


Like, I think the story had opportunities - first contact with an alien race who massively overpowers humanity, most of their fleet is trapped on the far side of some implausible hyperspace herring, send in some scientists to discover the scope of how overpowered we are (oh shit we're _super_ not cut out for these Bad Dudes!), but the sheer pluck of humanity manages to send a quantum wotsit back through the hyperspace herring to destroy them before they destroy us. But is that genocide warranted or moral? Is it a shoot-y movie or a talk-y philosophic movie? How about neither?

I mean, given the advertised leads I assumed the philosophy of the moral hazard wouldn't be the main point of the movie, but I wasn't prepared for how bad it would screw up the bang bang pow socko part, too.
posted by Kyol at 8:02 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


I had to turn this off after the guy 500 years in the future was driving a 2020 pickup. It was bad before that, but that was the last straw.
posted by jonathanhughes at 8:44 PM on July 20 [2 favorites]


Seven rogue soldiers launch a preemptive strike against a newly discovered alien civilization in the hopes of ending an interstellar war before it starts.

Even this strapline is nonsensical.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:06 PM on July 20


I can't find the article (it's not this one [esquire]), but I ran into one that explored why Bruce Willis (and others) would show up for only 10 minutes in a movie, but headline it. Something something international markets. Paycheck.

There are also "contractually obligated films" but this one doesn't seem like it fits the bill.

Thanks for the heads up that this one isn't worth seeing.

Quite a bit of a contrast to Willy's Wonderland [fanfare.metafilter] where Nicholas Cage (and a few reliable "character actors") signs on in order for the project to get financed, which gets a bunch of early-career people working in films a paycheck, experience, and some cred.
posted by porpoise at 12:14 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


I tried to read the plot summary on Wikipedia but it's really badly written, which seems like it might reflect on the movie going by the reviews.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:22 AM on July 21


So IMDB is saying that this came out last spring, but Netflix has been pushing it hard lately, so I don't know if they finally picked it up for promotion or if someone lost a bet.

I think its been around on Amazon for that time, and i guess they finally gave up on seeing if it might make any money there.
posted by biffa at 3:34 AM on July 21


Maybe Amazon sent it back in time via a wormhole during Bezos’ Great Space Adventure?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:57 AM on July 21


Oh, wow, the wiki plot summary is pretty much bang on the dot - it's not edited or elided into insensibility, the movie is actually that incoherent.
posted by Kyol at 5:50 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


This is not that. This is just dumb. Incoherent. Incomprehensible. Poorly written. Poorly acted. Poorly plotted. One of those movies where you go "hey, Bruce Willis and Frank Grizzo are in it? How bad could it be?"

Bad. So bad. So very bad.


That was my takeaway from the trailer. I mean, I knew that Bruce Willis had started a B-grade phase of his career, but it's actually lower than that. About a month ago, I started watching his other 2020 sci fi film "Breach" (whose only other noteworthy name is Thomas "Money Plane" Jane), and I was kinda gobsmacked at the shoddiness of it all. Is Willis really that hard up for cash?
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:25 AM on July 21


Thanks for watching this so I don't have to; it's been getting pushed into my Netflix recommendations pretty hard, but I've been avoiding it because I've never heard of it before...which felt odd for a SF film involving Bruce Willis.

Anyways, the review from rogerebert.com might be worth more time than the film:

"...To suggest that Bruce Willis is phoning in his performance in “Cosmic Sin” would be an insult to telephone communication, which can be an effective means of conveying important information and genuine emotion...

...“Cosmic Sin” isn’t even a bad B-movie in an interesting way. The pacing is sluggish, the script is crammed with both incomprehensible technical gobbledygook and lazy, sexist jokes, and the visual effects are laughably cheesy. My kid could make a more dazzling space movie on his iPad."
posted by nubs at 9:28 AM on July 21 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Bruce Willis has decided to torch his reputation in exchange for a paltry few 10's of millions of dollars. The fool. If he is in a movie, that movie goes on my Do Not Watch list. They're completely cynical cash grabs with absolutely no redeeming qualities.
posted by Balna Watya at 5:08 PM on July 21


I’m surprised so many people are hating on this movie. I thought it raised a lot of really interesting questions about different species and our beliefs about human nature and also about our expectations of meeting alien races. It raises a lot of philosophical and speculative questions. I think it even raises questions about sci fi movie making.
posted by gt2 at 7:14 PM on July 21


I can't find the article (it's not this one [esquire]), but I ran into one that explored why Bruce Willis (and others) would show up for only 10 minutes in a movie, but headline it. Something something international markets. Paycheck.

We had a recent FPP on the topic - The King of the Geezer Teasers (or, at least, on the topic of one particular producer who makes a ton of these cheap flicks "featuring" older action stars) that digs into the finances of these kind of pictures.
posted by soundguy99 at 8:02 PM on July 21 [2 favorites]


I’m surprised so many people are hating on this movie. I thought it raised a lot of really interesting questions about different species and our beliefs about human nature and also about our expectations of meeting alien races. It raises a lot of philosophical and speculative questions. I think it even raises questions about sci fi movie making.

If you got something out of it, more power to you - movies (& art more generally) speak to different people in different ways. I know, based on reading reviews from reviewers whose taste I generally trust (and comments here from commenters who generally like the same things I like) that this one isn't for me, but enjoy what you enjoy and don't worry about the rest of us. Lord knows there are movies, books, and TV shows that I have a real fondness for that aren't enjoyed by many others.
posted by nubs at 7:43 AM on July 22


This movie falls into the categories where I know from the trailer and description (and Willis being in it) that I will hate it but still have the urge to watch, just as I did with some other garbage Willis SF about two months ago.
posted by biffa at 1:28 AM on July 23 [2 favorites]


I kind of want to watch this. I saw the trailer and couldn't believe Bruce Willis (!) was second fiddle to the guy I think was Deathstroke in the Arrowverse? What the fuck? It's like that ugly period before Nicolas Cage leaned into his whole vibe and found himself again and did Mandy. I'm sure Bruce Willis is a Trump supporter and probably a total jerk, but I can't help but feel he deserves a better break.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:42 PM on July 27


The script was written by a Markov generator whose user always wanted to work with Bruce Willis so managed to get himself cast as a the best friend. It feels like it was filmed over a long weekend with a lot of beer, to ease the actors' pain, and direction of only the most general sort. The result should similarly be watched under the influence so that you not be able to remember what it was really like. Until MST3K gets their hands on it.
posted by Ignorantsavage at 9:24 PM on July 27


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