Bruce Willis, Rachel Nichols, Thomas Jane, Johnny Messner, Corey Large, Kassandra Clementi, Callan Mulvey
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…plays on just about every sci-fi trope and cliché that you can think of….
Bruce Willis has been a staple of the sci-fi/action genre since The Fifth Element, Armageddon and 12 Monkeys. His tough guy persona has made him a fan favourite, playing some of the most iconic roles in Hollywood history. In the 2020 film Breach, Willis stars as a tortured war veteran in a futuristic world that has been devoured by a plague. As the last humans travel to another planet to call home, a sinister alien force finds its way onto the ship, threatening the lives of everyone on it.
Visually, Breach is easy to criticise – it is at times hard to properly focus due to the tacky effects, stylistic choices seem to be taken in order to cover up the low-cost effects, and the set pieces look second-rate, as if they had just been thrown together at the last minute.
Yet, in spite of the budget constraints, at times Breach is genuinely tense. Director John Suits (Pandemic and 3022, remember those?) is rarely able to draw emotion out of his actors, but manages to create a sense of urgency in the story, providing viewers with some enjoyable action sequences.
Breach plays on just about every sci-fi trope and cliché that you can think of. Viewers will recognise one liners, plot points and character archetypes from classic sci-fi films; this delivers zero authenticity, it’s like a carbon copy of sci-fi classics like Alien or The Thing. The generic plot is predictable and some of the side plots feel like afterthoughts, only added to introduce another forced scene or trope. Every scene feels like a rip off from another sci-fi film, and this lack of originality takes its toll.
The cast features surprisingly reliable players; apart from Willis, there’s Thomas Jane, Rachel Nicholls, Kassandra Clementi (UnReal), Corey Large (who co-wrote and also produces, and was behind Australian film In Like Flynn…) and Australia’s own Callan Mulvey (who had a small role in In Like Flynn, incidentally). However, Bruce is the only one with any depth to his character, and the acting overall is sloppy – lines are delivered with no conviction whatsoever, making it impossible to relate to the characters.