• Name: Extinction
• Year: 2018
• Country: USA
• Director: Ben Young
• Main cast: Lizzy Caplan, Michael Peña, Mike Colter
• Runtime: 95 minutes
• Production company: Good Universe, Mandeville Films, Universal Pictures
Almost by surprise we found ourselves yesterday with a new addition to the Netflix Originals catalog, Extinction (2018). Another big studio feature that had a straight to internet release. This time not much has been said about it, it wasn’t as much advertised as could be, for example, Alex Garland’s Annihilation (2018) or The Cloverfield Paradox (2018), a pair of science fiction movies that might share some plot similarities with Extinction (2018). Personally, I think that was a good finding since this new title is a more than decent one and with an even not too big promotion it should have done decently at the cinema box office.
Extinction (2018) is a movie of encountered sensations. I won’t do any spoilers, as always, because the best features of this movie are the plot twists and how the filmmakers play with the spectator’s mind. The first third of the movie, to be honest, feels like something we have seen before many times. What seems to be an alien invasion, and together with the title of the movie bringing information to the action, it is reminded too much to Cloverfield (2008), and even Predator (1987). But when my hope for the movie was lost, a surprise plot twist happened. I was like “hey, wait a second, this is taking an interesting direction”. And I got all my senses back to the screen, pretty much until the very end of the movie.
Extinction (2018) is the second feature film of Ben Young, after the awards-winning Hounds of Love (2016) a couple of years ago. His efforts to bring something fresh to the story are present almost in all the running time. The sets locations placing the eyes in some undetermined of near future are good work, as well as is the way to approach the story. The script was written by Eric Heisserer, known for the screenplays of Final Destination 5 (2011), The Thing (2011) and Arrival (2016), based on an earlier draft by Spenser Cohen and Brad Kane.
Pretty much, the movie is carried by the pair formed by Lizzy Caplan and Michael Peña. At first one can think the chemistry between the two is not so fluid, but then you find out that it all has a reason to be. As a curiosity I find fun to mention Lizzy Caplan was the star 10 years ago of Cloverfield (2008). Poor girl, she is getting accustomed to run away from alien invasions or what? Acting in Extinction (2018) is correct, no weak performances and neither astonishing ones. But it is fair to outstand the work of the 2 young actresses playing the 2 children of the main couple, Amelia Crouch and Erica Tremblay.
In my opinion, the filmmakers could had done much more with the script and the material they had in hands. The plot idea is good, and although it’s not a bad script one has in mind after watching the movie that the potential of the story deserved a better treatment. A handful of interesting science fiction elements appear in this movie that are not exploited enough in order to focus more on the action and fights. Still, the final result is an entertaining movie, a good fun hour and half. I still recommend it without hesitation.
IMDB URL: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3201640
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