Worthwhile twists outweigh infuriating moments in ‘Extinction’
Doomsday comes in the form of mysterious lights in the sky, unknown flying objects that soon make their presence violently felt in a defenseless city. At least, that’s how it appears in one man’s recurring nightmares, in Ben Young’s apocalyptic science-fiction nail-biter “Extinction” on Netflix.
Starring Michael Peña as lead character, Peter, the film presents a gripping story of invasion, but with a terrific twist that gives it texture, weight and, ultimately, a deeper understanding of human nature.
But, first things first. Peter’s horrific visions of an impending extraterrestrial attack keep him awake at night, gradually straining his relationship with his wife, Alice (Lizzy Caplan), and their daughters, Hanna (Amelia Crouch) and Lucy (Erica Tremblay).
The restlessness is affecting Peter’s work, as well, which doesn’t go unnoticed by his boss, David (Mike Colter).
But, the unthinkable happens right after a party at Peter’s high-rise home, when flickering lights and a barrage of “falling stars” bring swift and severe destruction to their city block—actually a well-orchestrated attack by the UFOs in his dreams.
Not long after, foot soldiers make their way into every building, exterminating inhabitants on sight.
Now, convinced that Peter’s “prophecies” are coming true, he and his loved ones must figure out a way to escape to a secure location, before they have a close encounter of the fatal kind.
It wasn’t Peña who was originally “courted” to play the lead role in “Extinction”; it was James McAvoy. But, Peña works better for the film, because he has an everyman quality to him that the film needs.
All in all, “Extinction” has effective, if formulaic scares. Try not to get annoyed at the girl who sneaks into the mayhem just to look for a precious toy. It has those silly, infuriating moments.
Still, Peña, Caplan, Colter and Israel Broussard (who has a brief but crucial role) form a competent cast, complementing the twists that keep tuning in even more worthwhile.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.