Crossbreed is one of those films that felt like it was above the competency level of everyone involved with it. This is a project with a better cast, better script, better director and better budget could have been worthwhile. Instead, we’re left with a sci-fi film that aims for good enough and frequently fails to hit that low bar.
Mercenaries have kidnapped an alien and plan to unleash it on Earth. To stop them, President Ellen Henrickson (Vivica A. Fox) and her Secretary of Defense (Daniel Baldwin) send ex-soldier Ryker (Gotham’s Stink Fisher who has a better actual movie name than his character) and his team to retrieve it before war breaks out.
That’s honestly not a bad premise and certainly one that could work in the confines of a lower budget sci-fi film. But the mistakes and missteps start coming fast and furiously.
Fisher has the brawn and build of legendary action tough guys like Stallone and Schwarzenegger, but he’s got a fraction of their charisma. He gets no help from the rest of his co-stars either.
Slaughterhouse (Antoine Lanier) is a little too mild-mannered to pull off the nickname while Degenerate (Jason McNeil) and Four Eyes (John T. Woods) waste no time establishing themselves as the most annoying characters. Noob (Brandyn T. Williams) is the tech rookie that Ryker randomly decides to include with his regular squad for no good reason.
After dealing with the mercenaries, Stryker’s team has to deal with the real menace as the alien Crossbreed (Devanny Pinn) has awakened and ready to start a body count.
Director/co-writer Brandon Slagle clearly doesn’t want to show the Crossbreed too closely and goes to great lengths to obscure its movements. This becomes a serious detriment when Ryker’s crew battles the Crossbreed. I got the sense Slagle was trying to capture some of that white-knuckle tension of Alien, but it fails on every turn.
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A major culprit is the cast. The dialogue by Slagle and co-writer Robert Thompson isn’t Academy Award-winning level, but the line delivery is terrible. The cast recites the lines flat with no sense of the appropriate emotion.
You’ve gotta feel for Fox. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago when she was starring in legit blockbusters like Independence Day alongside Will Smith and headlining films like Two Can Play That Game. Hollywood has never been particularly kind to actresses once they reach a certain age, but seeing Fox slumming it up by appearing in this is disheartening.
Honestly the film probably would have played out a lot better if Fox got in on the action instead of sitting on the sidelines. Stryker’s team could use a little less testosterone and Fox is a better performer than anyone else in the film by far.
The action sequences are just as poorly laid out and sloppily thrown together with bad edits and barely visible camera angles. The special effects during the shootouts look hokey with the blasts and blood sprays CGI looking like a whopping 10 minutes was spent on all of them. There’s also no solid explanation why Ryker’s team is wearing such goofy outfits including what looks like pasted on ‘tech’ to look futuristic.
Crossbreed also fails at being cheesy enough to warrant being a guilty pleasure. Everything is taken so seriously without a trace of irony of its inherent silliness.