Good evening fellow film fanatics!!
My review today, for you reading pleasure, is for the Netflix movie ” Extinction”. I actually found this one to be a bit of a challenge to review for two reasons. Reason number one is, as a Netflix movie, I went into this one with, much like me dating life, lowered expectations. I understand Netflix originals are akin to direct to video movies from back in the ancient times of Blockbuster Video. But sometimes you can find a diamond in the rough so I gave it a shot. The second reason is this film has a pretty good twist, that made my view of the events leading up to that twist change. Here we go:
“Extinction” stars Michael Peña, as Peter, a married man with an average life, with one exception. Peter keeps having nightmares that are affecting his home and work life. Peter believes these dreams are actually visions of an alien invasion, but, naturally, no one believes him. That is until all hell breaks loose. Unfortunately, at no point during the actual alien invasion does Peter yell out, ” I told you so!!” Props to Peter for being a more mature person than I would be in that situation!
I really can’t say more about the plot, as there is a big twist revealed about half way through. I am going to give a ton of credit to director Ben Young, and screen writers Spenser Cohen and Brad Cane, because the reveal of the twist did catch me by surprise. ( not an easy task my friends) The first half an hour lulls you into thinking this is a by the numbers alien invasion movie. The only reason I stuck with it was to see if Peter’s drams/visions came true. Believe me I was close to moving on up to that point.
That is the problem I have with the movie, the twist alters what I thought of the build up. I am a fan of Michael Peña, and have seen him do great work in movies like “End of Watch” and “Ant Man”, but in this one he was very subdued and almost unemotional. All of the actors seem that way. After the reveal, however, I am not sure if that was intentional. I hope so, because it plays better that way. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt, because I am a generous fellow.
As for the overall film, I have to say, excluding the twist, everything else is a bit uninspired. The invasion, as I mentioned earlier, is by the numbers. You’ve seen this all before. There are your typical characters, doing absolutely stupid things in the middle of being chased by hordes of invaders. And, of course, there are convenient escape routes and shelters that pop up at just the right time. I had a problem with the chemistry of the actors. Again, I don’t know if the lack of chemistry was on purpose because of the twist or not. Either way, it gave me no connection with Peter and his family. I blame part of this on the quick set up of the movie. We barely get to know anyone before the invasion starts. It almost seems like there may have been more of the movie that didn’t make it into the finished product. I wish the filmmakers would have spent more time on Peter visions and having to deal with his family and friends doubting him. Especially with the actual invasion being so generic. ( with the exception of the twist)
For the final verdict, I have to say this is a giant MEH. It had some interesting moments, but not enough to keep me from wondering what other options there were on Netflix.
If you have seen “Extinction” and disagree, or want to discuss, feel free to comment below. As always-
Thanks for your time!!
The Movie Psycho