Extinction Movie Review
Michael Peña finally gets a leading role, but unfortunately it’s in the straight-to-Netflix Extinction, a decent but ultimately forgettable sci-fi action film that starts off strong but increasingly looks like a SyFy Channel product as the story stumbles towards its conclusion.
Though director Ben Young’s movie boasts a few sort-of-predictable, sort-of-not twists, Extinction is unable to shed its B-grade, generic feel. The alien invasion and survival plot had some potential, but the big reveals land primarily with a “huh, that’s neat” thud—the execution just doesn’t beckon you to get all that invested in the story or its characters, let alone its surprises.
Peña is pretty good, but none of the characters are particularly interesting—it’s not too much of a surprise that the movie, which Universal had originally slated for a major theatrical release before scratching it and selling it to Netflix, couldn’t attract a more prominent cast. That doesn’t mean Peña can’t hold his own, but everything about the movie is so vanilla even the energetic actor can’t do much with the material.
The visual effects and costumes don’t help; while not terrible, the CGI seems to get worse as the movie progresses, and the alien design appears a bit cheap, which in turn makes the rest of the movie feel cheap.
Despite its faults, Extinction has enough action, suspense and mayhem to appeal to the casual viewer. It would have made a bad theatrical release, but as a Netflix exclusive, only a click away at no additional cost, there are worse ways to spend an hour and a half.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.