Director: John Suits
Cast: Bruce Willis, Cody Kearsley, Rachel Nichols, Kassandra Clementi, Johnny Messner, Thomas Jane
Runtime: 1 hr 33 mins
Rating: NC16 (Some Violence and Coarse Language)
Released By: Shaw Organisation
Opening Day: 4 February 2021
Synopsis: A hardened mechanic (Bruce Willis) is one of a few chosen to stay awake and maintain an interstellar arc fleeing a dying planet Earth with a few thousand lucky souls on board... the last of humanity. Unfortunately, humans are not the only guests on board. A shapeshifting alien creature has also taken residence and its only goal is to kill as many people as possible. Now, the crew must think quickly and try to stop this menace before it destroys humanity.
A sad emoji now marks the state of Bruce Willis’ once flourishing career. The once A-lister whose breakthrough came in 1988 in the form of Die Hard seems to be making ends meet in low budgeted movies nowadays. And you are talking about a star who commanded millions of dollars per movie and has worked with talents liked Brian De Palma, Robert Zemeckis, Terry Gilliam, Luc Besson, Quentin Tarantino and many more.
Willis continues to sashay his way in yet another forgettable flick. At least this time, he is doing a cheap The Fifth Element meets Alien meets The Thing. Amazingly, he is also in the movie for more than 30 minutes, a rare occurrence in recent times.
In Anti-Life also known as Breach, Willis plays a mechanic, Clay or some sort of janitor’s supervisor who is onboard a spaceship which is bound for a new colony as Earth is soon to be extinct. While the rest of the passengers are in cryo, Clay met and befriend a young man, Noah (Cody Kearsley) who has actually sneak onboard to be with his pregnant girlfriend, Hayley (Kassandra Clementi). But Anti-Life is not about the romance between Noah and Hayley but instead a low-budgeted sci-fi horror about a shape-shifting alien parasite that has somehow climbed onboard as well and infected the security and maintenance crew members.
Anti-Life does very little to give audiences a fresh perspective on the alien-horror-outing. In fact, it’s more of a copy-and-paste tertiary school project than anything else. Probably due to the lack of budget, the infected sort of quickly turned into undead zombies rather than alien looking deformed creatures. The CGI looks liked Play-Doh and most of the excitement happened off-camera, director John Suits has no other artistic choices but to let his bunch of cast members running in circles in the small, makeshift sets and corridors mouthing bad dialogues and drinking moonshine, a kind of alcohol concoct from jet fuel.
Another familiar face Thomas Jane appears as the Admiral, a somewhat powerful figure and father to Hayley. But instead of Willis appearing for less than ten minutes this time round, Jane is on the screen for less than ten minutes before sacrificing himself for the greater good. Willis spends most of his screentime yakking corny lines and sipping moonshine. At least the grizzled action hero still knows how to arm himself with a good flamethrower. Cody Kearsley who is the male lead isn’t particularly memorable as the protagonist. It’s the various supporting actors liked Callan Mulvey and Timothy V. Murphy that leaves the most impression with their unhinged performances.
There’s no obligatory jump scares let alone any excitement. The camera is shaky at times maybe they are trying desperately hard to showcase a sense of uneasiness lurking at the corners. The lightings are mostly dark and creepy perhaps they have trouble paying the power company. Writers Edward Drake and Corey Large pulls off every trick from Ridley Scott and John Carpenter’s book of filmmaking but the flick is doomed from the start. Unintentional laughter is also expected as the most powerful weapon onboard the ship is not the flamethrower but some dissolving liquid from the janitor’s store.
Anti-Life is yet another lifeless VOD release that no one will remember or appreciate given the horrid cheap production values. It can’t really decide itself to be a zombie horror thriller or a monster horror. It’s more of a scenario where the filmmakers just throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. Even Bruce Willis himself can’t salvage this unconvincing mess. It doesn’t matter though because we are no longer trusting his name on the poster or production.
(High concept but poorly executed sci-fi horror thriller)
Review by Linus Tee