Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Breach, Starring Bruce Willis

What happens when an Alien-style alien runs amok on a life ark? Hopefully, there are enough essential workers still awake to defend the sleeping passengers. It turns out the leader of the janitorial staff does indeed have military experience. In space, nobody can hear them cleaning toilets in John Suits’ Breach, which releases today on DVD.

This is last mass transport leaving Earth. Naturally, stowaways will be summarily executed, but dopey Noah still managed to sneak on board, with the help of his pregnant lover, who just so happens to be the daughter of Admiral Adams-King. However, he almost wishes he was back on doomed earth when he meets his new janitorial supervisor and roommate Clay, formerly a captain under the admiral’s command.

Clay is definitely a tough boss, but he keeps a cool head when the skeleton staff flying the ship starts to fall victim to a mysterious parasite. It seems to be trying to sabotage the ship, even though it would destroy itself in the process. Clay and company also figure out it was deliberately let into the ship, presumably by a member of a new terrorist group that decided humanity was too destructive to be allowed colonize a new planet.

We have been down this road before, but the human terrorist element adds an intriguing new wrinkle. In some markets,
Breach is known as Anti-Human, which is a much better title. Frankly, the depiction of the terrorist dogma hits very close to home for contemporary environmental ideology.

On the other hand, the space bug-hunting stuff is pretty standard issue. However, this is the first movie “starring” Bruce Willis in a while that really features him in a “starring” role. Obviously, he is crusty old Clay—and it is still kind of fun watching him do his thing. Likewise, Timothy V. Murphy and Thomas Jane squint and act suitably hard-nosed as the chief security officer and the Admiral. Unfortunately, Cody Kearsley is painfully bland and whiny as Noah and nobody else makes much of an impression, for good or bad.

This could have been more interesting and provocative if screenwriters Edward Drake & Corey Large had more fully explored the self-hating anti-human headspace of the terrorists. There are a lot of respected “population control” advocates who are probably coming from a very similar place. Instead, it is mostly more of what we have seen before. Suits, who helmed the vastly under-rated
The Scribbler, keeps it moving along okay, but the film never achieves any real scares or sense of awe. Just okay as a time-killer, Breach releases today (2/2) on DVD.