#Netflix keeps on suggesting sci fi titles to me recently and I, for one, am not one to refuse, especially if the trailer seems promising. Such was the case with Netflix’s sci fi original Extinction, starring Michael Peña and Lizzy Kaplan.
Synopsis: Peter (Michael Peña) suffers from recurring nightmares which is adversely affecting his family and work life. In his dreams, he gets flashes of what appears to be an alien invasion but his wife Alice (Lizzy Kaplan) is not quite convinced that the dreams are anything more than a sleep issue for her husband. When a large scale attack rocks the city, Peter and Alice must keep their family safe but they are quite shocked by what was causing Peter’s nightmares all along.
Extinction had a great concept. The trailer focused the build up of the alien invasion and Peter’s uncanny connection to the event keeping the main event close to its chest.
I liked how director Ben Young developed the characters of Peter and Alice and gradually hinged the major revelation on their family. While it started out as a typical alien invasion movie, it carefully set up the viewers with suspenseful scenes that connected Peter’s dreams to the “aliens.” It also made sure to focus attention on one particular invader (Israel Broussard) and the humanity and compassion that one can show for a different race.
The effects were pretty good, as was the pacing. I liked how each scene contributed to the whole, and how the climax revealed an additional layer to the story, for a viable twist. I was a very big fan of Alice as a badass mom. She was no nonsense and firm, even more than Peter, who, at times faltered and doubted himself.
I was slightly frustrated by the stupidity of Peter and Alice’s youngest child Lucy (Erica Tremblay), but I was a big fan of Hanna (Amelia Crouch), their eldest. I wish they could have developed the family conflict more before the invasion to make more of an emotional impact but overall, it was still an acceptable set up.
All in all, Extinction had a commendable idea to turn the tables on the viewers with an unlikely twist and while overall, the strong cast and concept worked together well enough, it seems as though it was missing something quite essential to catapult the movie to epic proportions. Still, it was a good popcorn movie and an entertaining sci fi film for fans of the genre.