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No more secrets, Marty.
~ Cosmo to Martin Brice before Cosmo's men take him away.

Cosmo is the main antagonist of the 1992 caper film Sneakers. He is the former best friend of Martin Brice and a computer expert who wishes to eliminate the problems caused by money, and tries to use the Black Box developed by the NSA to do that.

He was portrayed by Sir Ben Kingsley.

Biography

In 1969, Cosmo was a college student who, along with his best friend Martin "Marty" Brice, used university computers to hack into computer networks, to redistribute conservative funds to various other causes. This includes hacking into the Republican Party's account and transferring some of their money to the Black Panthers, and also hacking into President Richard Nixon's personal checking account and transferring it to the National Association to Legalize Marijuana. They get hungry, so Marty decides to go get a pizza. Later, the police arrive with intent to arrest them both. Marty sees the police arrest Cosmo, and goes on the run.
CosmoYoung

Cosmo during the film's prologue.

Cosmo is sentenced to 12 years in prison. Though it was initially thought that he died in prison, it is revealed that one day, he helped a pair of older gentlemen make some free phone calls. As it turns out, the men were members of a Mafia organization. They arranged for Cosmo to be released from prison early. In order to repay them, Cosmo reorganized their outfits's entire financial operation, which allowed him to become rich.

Cosmo wished to continue what he and Marty started in college, but with the advances in technology, it would be much harder. He soon learns that a mathmetician named Gunter Janek is designing a device (referred to as simply "the box" for the entire film) for the National Security Agency (NSA) that is capable of bypassing every computer encryption system in the world. He decides to track down Marty and arrange for him to deliver the box to him. He soon tracks Marty to San Francisco, where he is using the alias "Martin Bishop", where he leads a team of specialists that use unorthodox methods to test security systems. He sends his enforcers, former NSA agents Dick Gordon and Buddy Wallace, to hire Marty and his team. Marty agrees to retrieve the box, and his team successfully recovers it. On the day that Marty gives the box to Wallace and Gordon, they also learn that Dr. Janek was killed. Becoming suspicious, Marty leaves the handoff without getting paid and begins investigating. Cosmo then sends his agents to recapture Marty.

CosmoConfrontsMarty

Cosmo confronts Marty for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Wallace, along with two fake FBI agents, capture Marty and bring him to Cosmo's organization's headquarters (which to the outside is a toy company called PlayTronics) where he confronts Marty and informs him of his plan to use the box to destabalize the world's economy, and attempts to convince Marty to join him. Marty refuses, calling Cosmo crazy. In retalliation, Cosmo uses the box to hack into the FBI's computer network and puts Marty's alias into FBI's record on him. His men then take him away and later dump him on the side of a road.

Marty and his team make it a priority to take the box back from Cosmo. They manage to infiltrate PlayTronics and Marty successfully gets the box. However, Cosmo catches wind of the infiltration, and all of PlayTronics is put on alert. Wallace manages to locate Marty in the air vents of an upper level corridor and begins shooting at him with a shotgun. However, Cosmo speaks over the intercom and says that he is holding Marty's friend Liz hostage, and that if he gave him the box, he'd let them all go. Marty turns himself in, but Cosmo goes back on his word, and orders Gordon and Wallace to kill him. Marty, though manages to escape Gordon and Wallace with the box in hand.

CosmoFinalConfrontation

Cosmo's final confronation with Marty.

They are able to escape PlayTronics and prepare to leave. However, Cosmo catches up with Marty on the roof of the building. Holding him at gunpoint, Cosmo demands that Marty give him the box. He gives him the box, but Cosmo still tries to convince Marty to help him, almost pleading. Marty tells him that, in order to stop him, he'd need to kill him. Unable to kill his friend, Cosmo lets Marty go. However, he examines the box, and realizes that it is a fake.

Cosmo's fate after the events of the movie is unknown. It is possible that, after the NSA cleared up Marty's record, that the FBI learned that Cosmo was behind everything that he framed Marty for, and that he was arrested and sent back to prison.

Personality

In his younger days, Cosmo firmly believed that he and Marty were doing the right thing in trying to eliminate the problems caused by the rich, though between the two of them, Cosmo had more reservations about getting caught. They both saw money as the root cause for most of the problems in the world and used their resources to redistribute money to people who could make a difference with it. He was very close with Marty, but liked to play tricks on him, such as when he used his closed fist magic trick on Marty to make him get the pizza. This indicated Cosmo's high intelligence.

When he and Marty are reunited years later, Cosmo's personality has changed significantly, possibly due to his tenure in prison. Cosmo has developed a much more cynical view of the world and the problems caused by money, and has come to believe that the only way to fix the world's problems was by getting rid of the world's economy. Cosmo's intents are by no means malicious, as he genuinely believes that he is doing the right thing in doing this, but eliminating the world's economy in general would do more harm than help. Cosmo even callously mocks organizations such as Greenpeace (who genuinely want to help the world) by saying even they can't do anything to help, implying that he believes that his way is the only right way, which leads Marty to believe that Cosmo has gone crazy.

Even though Cosmo remains genuinely friendly towards Marty when he reunites with him, he harbors bitterness and a bit of resentment to his former friend when he sees him again because he was sent to prison and Marty wasn't. This bitterness increases when Marty refuses to help Cosmo in his quest and calls him crazy, and leads him to putting Marty's alias in the FBI's database on him. This is also demonstrated during the scene where he speaks over PlayTronics' intercom, where, according to Cosmo, Marty always needed to "win".

Cosmo's has shown to, for the most part, retain a calm and calculating demeanor throughout most of the film, even during times of discord. He is also shown to be a capable manipulator, using his friendship with Marty on multiple occasions to try and advance his goals, such as when he kidnaps Liz and convinces Marty that he was his only way out, only to turn around and tell his subordinates to kill him.

Despite his deceptions and actions towards Marty, it is shown at the end of the film that Cosmo still does genuinely value their friendship. When he catches up with Marty on the rooftop of PlayTronics, he again tries to appeal to his and Marty's friendship - much more genuinely, this time - by claiming that no one else but him could possibly understand what he was doing, and that it was a journey that they started together; Marty counters by saying that it was never a "journey", but merely a prank that went too far. Cosmo again demonstrates that he believes that what he is doing is right when he says that money had plunged the world into a "world war" over who controlled all the information. Marty still refuses, and tells Cosmo that the only way that could stop him was to kill him. Due to their friendship - and possibly out of remorse for all the things he'd done - Cosmo let Marty go.