On the cusp of fatherhood, a junior mechanic aboard an interstellar ark to New Earth must outwit a malevolent cosmic terror intent on using the spaceship as a weapon.
Tagline: Deep in space they are not alone. | Director: John Suits | Writers: Edward Drake, Corey Large | Starring: Cody Kearsley, Bruce Willis, Rachel Nichols | Runtime: 1 hr 32 minutes | Genres: Sci-Fi Action/Horror | Language: English | Content Warnings: None | Source: Purchased | So bad “Unstarred” doesn’t begin to describe it.
Breach was the most lazy, incompetent attempt at making a sci-fi horror/thriller movie that I have ever had the displeasure of encountering. The only thing I can think of to excuse the gross ineptness of this film is it was an experiment in what happens if you give each cast member different versions of what the movie should be and have them act blindly and independently of each other.
Timothy V. Murphy (Stanley) got told it was an over-the-top Syfy movie, and behaved as such. He channeled the Small Soldiers movie with all the effort he had in him, and crossed it with some hard-broiled bad-ass that would make Lance Henricksen cringe. Thomas Jane followed puppy-like in his footsteps, aviators and all.
Rachel Nichols (Chambers), a medic, performed an ‘autopsy’ so half-assed that one wonders whether anyone stopped think “Hmm, maybe I should google this?” (I did google it, by the way. https://www.calebwilde.com/2015/03/21-steps-of-an-autopsy/) I can only infer she got told “Everyone who is going to watch our movie is a fecking idiot, so just cut open his shirt, plunge your hand in his stomach, and swish it around a bit, yeah?”
Cody Kearsley (Noah) must have been given the idea that he was a C-level version of Crisp Ratt’s character in Passengers, and wound up so confused when he ended up in a wanna-be horror movie instead.
Kassandra Clementi (Hayley) had very little screen time, but was given some mixed messaging because she waffles between “What end’s the shooty bit?” and “Semi-competent West Point drop-out” with such flare that I was left scratching my head.
Bruce Willis… Well, let’s just say that from an outsider’s POV, they probably spent 80% of their budget on him and said, “Just…just be Bruce Willis, okay?”
And I say 80% of the budget because they obviously didn’t spend more than 5% of it on special effects, and I’m going to hope that the rest of the cast got at least a couple hundred for showing up. Not for acting, mind you, but for showing up.
The special effects weren’t special, and they were barely effects. The filmmakers used a heavy hand with the tried-and-true ‘cut away so that we don’t have to waste any money showing something happening’ technique for most of the movie. Then when we do get a sad attempt at a scary creature that looked like Jabba the Hut got a girdle and a pair of century old dentures, it’s shot in such gloom that you have to squint really hard to make sure you’re not just seeing a pile of dehydrated shit lumbering towards you. (Psst, the shit would have been scarier.)
As for the action in Breach? Lots of screaming and jumping on people. And lots of shooting, even after it’s acknowledged that that basically only slows them down. Let’s not forget Jane’s heroic self-sacrifice that has basically no lead-up and comes spinning at you so fast out of left-field that you’re left blinking at the screen and wondering if he demanded to go out with a bang and the director took that literally, or if they were so desperate to hit all the tropes in an action movie that they shoe-horned it in with all the grace of someone trying on too-small Spanx for the first time and giving themselves a black eye in the process.
Whilst none of the things I’m about to mention could probably be proven to be wrong at this point, they twigged my sci-fi enthusiast brain so strongly that they factored into why I turned off Breach with a “Thank god that’s over!” See highly pregnant woman being put into cryostasis for starters, bounce gently along a G-force through warp jump so slight that Willis’ character could easily take a swig of his moonshine, and end with setting off a fucking grenade (against a wall) on a spaceship with no repercussions.
All told, Breach managed to piss off both the “So-bad-it’s-good” side of my brain and the “Oh, hey, several recognizable names so I can expect something that maybe doesn’t completely blow balls” side as well.
When it come it comes to books, I have high expectations. When it comes to movies, I’m ridiculously easy to please…so when a movie sucks so badly that I can’t find a single positive thing to say about it, I can only read it as there being absolutely no time or effort put into producing anything that would come within thirty feet of the word ‘quality’. Poseidon Rex was better than this shit called Breach, and they only had the budget for one bloody song.
Lilyn G is the founder of Sci-Fi & Scary, and leader of the Kali Krew. She does book and film reviews for both genres the site focuses on. Her tastes run towards creature features, hard science fiction, and lots and lots of action. She also has a soft spot for middle-grade fiction that rears its head frequently.
Though no longer involved with Ladies of Horror Fiction due to other responsibilities and a too-full plate, she was one of the original 4 co-founders.
Feel free to chat her up on Twitter as long as you aren’t hitting her up to review your book.
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