Main cast: Cody Kearsley (Noah), Bruce Willis (Clay Young), Rachel Nichols (Chambers), Kassandra Clementi (Hayley Adams-King), Timothy V Murphy (Commander Stanley), Corey Large (Lincoln), Callan Mulvey (Teek), Johnny Messner (Blue), and Thomas Jane (Admiral Adams-King)
Director: John Suits
Breach is a somewhat middling-budget movie, being that it’s nowhere as cheap as a B-grade flick but at the same time, it’s not exactly brimming with expensive CGIs or practical effects. Maybe they blew their budget on Bruce Willis, who looks like he’s barely trying to stay awake here. I’d say that is definitely not money well spent!
Oh yes, this one is set in a time when Earth is doomed because climate change, yadda yadda yadda, and the Ark sends 300,000 to space to colonize a planet called New Earth. Noah isn’t on the passenger list, although his pregnant girlfriend Hayley is. The fact that her father is the admiral of this ship and he isn’t very happy with Hayley being pregnant may have something to do with that, heh. Noah stows away on that ship nonetheless, befriends the mechanic Clay Young, and lo, thanks to the actions of some disgruntled people that believe humans should all be exterminated anyway, the crew become infected by some parasitic… thing… with a final form that resembles some kind of ghastly thing made from Play-Doh and poop.
Now, let me bring up Alien, Aliens, and The Thing reference points for what works and what doesn’t in Breach. Those movies focus quite a bit on fleshing out the few characters that end up playing a pivotal role in the plot, and they do it well. Some characters utter lines that become memes in pop culture (“Game over, man!”), others stand out as memorable archetypes, and of course, the lead characters are distinctly kick-ass and well-drawn, with their actors making the characters their own. Many of the not-so-well drawn characters still have memorable traits that define them. These characters make an impression during the moments in the movie that are devoted to fleshing out the camaraderie of these characters.
This movie attempts to do the same thing, but there is a big problem. Every character in here, aside from arguably Admiral Adams-King, is a total bore. Cody Kearsley sports a blank expression throughout the whole thing, and if he believed that his stubble would do the acting for him, he is sorely mistaken. Bruce Willis is just coasting it, uttering his lines without energy or conviction and just giving me the impression that he is just an exhausted old man desperately needing a paycheck. The rest of the cast are barely one-note and completely forgettable. The movies I’ve mentioned showed that designated alien chow doesn’t necessarily have to be one-dimensional stick figures; in fact, developing them well can lead to added poignancy of their inevitable deaths. Here, though, the bulk of the cast is just stick figures wandering aimlessly on set until their character is killed off.
The bulk of the cast is generally fine in their other roles, so I can only imagine that either the script or the director, maybe both, doesn’t give them much to work on. Thomas Jane is mugging the hell out of his role here, though, and as a result, he’s probably the most memorable cast member here. Then again, is this a good thing? Something tells me Mr Jane would rather that people forget he is ever in this movie!
So the bulk of the walking meat in this movie are utterly disposable sorts, but the movie could still be salvaged if there were great gore or scary visual effects. Alas, there is none of that here as well. The effects look hokey and cheap. You know, this is actually a bit of a conundrum, because the set pieces are actually pretty good. I mean, the set pieces aren’t expensive—they are clearly made on a budget—but they are actually well-done and ingeniously constructed so as to give this movie a somewhat convincing “I’m in a spaceship in space, ooh!” feel. Maybe they run out of money after creating the set pieces, I guess, because everything else is pretty dire.
Then again, the fake-looking alien monster puts on a more energetic performance than Cody Kearsley, so there’s that, I guess.
While Breach is boring, at the same time it is never bad enough to be campy or memorable. It’s one of those movies that can make the viewer’s brain completely numb by the time the credits roll. They will feel as dead inside as Mr Kearsley’s eyes are throughout the whole thing. Hmm, I suppose, given how it is, this movie can then be recommended to people that want to experience briefly what a lobotomy feels like.