An interstellar ark transporting the last humans on Earth to a new home inadvertently brings along a shape-shifting alien stowaway in Breach, a new sci-fi action film starring Bruce Willis and directed by John Suits. The trailer just dropped, and the film looks like a fairly generic mix of elements from Alien, The X-Files, and Event Horizon. But anything that lets Willis “yippee-ki-yay” his gun-toting way to saving humanity from aliens in space is okay by me.
Suits is best known for 2016’s Pandemic, essentially a zombie horror thriller shot entirely from a first person point of view, like a video game. He also directed the recently released short Diehard is Back, a fun Willis-starring commercial for Diehard batteries that pays tongue-in-cheek homage to the franchise, including a few cameos that should delight fans. (“From fighting his way to Advance Auto Parts to racing against the clock to install his new DieHard Battery—McClane will stop at nothing, to start his car again.”) So I’m hopeful that Suits can bring a fitting mix of suspense, action, and humor to Breach, and just let Willis be Willis.
Originally titled Anti-Life, the film’s premise is that a devastating plague has wiped out much of Earth’s population, and the survivors are being evacuated via an interstellar ark to “New Earth.” Willis plays Clay Young, described as a hardened mechanic who is part of the crew selected to stay awake and maintain the ark for the six-month journey. But then he discovers a shapeshifting alien (or “a malevolent cosmic terror,” per the early press materials) has also stowed away on the ark, and it seems to be intent on killing everyone on board.
Cody Kearsley (Riverdale, Daybreak) co-stars as Noah, a junior mechanic who is about to become a father, and teams up with Clay to protect the ark from the alien invader. The cast also includes Rachel Nichols (she also starred in Pandemic) as Chambers, Thomas Jane, Callan Mulvey, Kassandra Clementi, Alexander Kane, Timothy V. Murphy, Ralf Moeller, and Corey Large.
The trailer opens with the ark’s successful take-off, and everyone celebrates being on the last ship to New Earth. “For the next six months we will blaze across space and time with high hope it’s the paradise they said it would be,” one of the crew members declares. But then one dude starts oozing black goo from his mouth and going on a rampage. By the time he’s subdued and Chambers has a chance to check him out—she appears to have scientific and/or medical training—the situation is dire. “Something appears to be eating him from the inside out,” she says.
The computer analysis reveals that whatever it is, it isn’t human. And it’s still out there, preying on the humans, who become infected and turn into some kind of rage zombies. (I’m sensing a theme with Suits’ work.) That’s Clay’s cue to bring out the heavy artillery and declare war on the alien life form. The stakes are high, given that there are 300,000 souls on board the ship, and the ark is speeding toward New Earth at the speed of light with a ravenous infectious alien life form on board.
Breach opens in select theaters and will be available via video on demand on December 18, 2020. Some of Willis’ best films have been science fiction action movies, so it’s nice to see him return to the genre. Excuse me while I queue up 12 Monkeys, The Fifth Element, and Looper for a weekend re-watch.