The streaming networks have always been more accepting of superhero, horror and sci-fi stuff. Netflix made their big entry into the sci-fi realm with Will Smith’s Bright, which opened to middling reviews. That raised the question whether Netflix would do something like this again – but for the big money coffers that Netflix has, reviews don’t matter – and that’s a good thing, otherwise we wouldn’t have an interesting viewing like the Extinction.
Extinction starts like a cookie cutter sci-fi flick, and you wonder if there’s anything else to keep you engaged, other than a riveting performance by Michael Pena and Lizzy Caplan. Both these actors are some of the best of this generation, and they good work with whatever they have been given. Director Ben Young succeeds in bringing the emotion oozing out in the open, without the long shots and the dualogue sequences are supposedly par for the course. Pena is in excellent form – and will be a revelation for the mainstream audience who only knows him for his Ant Man outing. He succeeds in making the audience really get behind a character in what seems to be a run-of-the-mill sci-fi/dystopian/alien horror film – until the twist in the middle revives the interest. We are pretty sure that audiences that are new to the sci-fi genre will spend the last 20 minutes of the film just staring wide-eyed at what happened.
And that credit goes to the writers, Spenser Cohen, Eric Heisserer and Brad Kane, who have decidedly taken out a out-there film into being really out there. It’s difficult to reveal much about the film without disclosing the twist, so we’d suggest you watch the film – those will be a good under-two hour spent.
What also stands out is the retro-feel to the action sequences. Newer films somehow took out the juice out of the action sequences and the brutality was somehow toned down. But with Netflix at the helm, the audience is given some really riveting action, along with background sound and sound effects that make the audience flinch and yet enjoy the experience.
The twist in the middle is what really makes this film stand out from the glut of sci-fi that we see. It not just re-engages the audience’s interest but creates a whole new thinking point for the audience.
A must watch for sci-fi fans
Director: Ben Young
Cast: Lizzy Caplan, Michael Peña, Mike Colter, Lilly Aspell, Emma Booth, Israel Broussard