Netflix's latest sci-fi effort winds up in the sci-why pile.
by Dan Brenic
Extinction is pretty bad. There's a litany of reasons why, including an uninspired plot, bad CGI, and a break-neck pace leaving us without a second to resonate, but the main reason this movie is so bad is that there isn't a single moment when a character shuts up. Before I get into that though, a quick synopsis: Peter(Michael Peña) has nightmares of an impending invasion on Earth that those around him, including his family and friends, quickly dismiss. Once the invasion occurs, Peter must use his visions to guide his family to safety.
During the invasion and the evasion of the alien force, Peter and his family do not stop making noise. During a time when silence should be required, Peter's daughters either breathe loudly, scream for help during a quieter period, or try to have a conversation with their parents while running from certain death.
Yes, the main culprit is the children and how they are written. They make baffling decisions to raise tension. The youngest child tries to find her monkey doll during the invasion for some reason and despite being told by her mother(Lizzie Caplan) just to stay put. The family also attempts to move into the sewers of the city, and the young daughter stops running to look at the flying death machine headed her family's way. Compound these with the constant screaming and talking, and it made these characters completely unlikable in any way. I understand that they're kids and would be scared by an imposing force but not heeding a single thing that their parents say when they look to their parents for answers is just poor writing.
The bad decisions aren't just for the children. During the invasion, instead of leading his family down from their 20th-floor apartment, they head up towards the roof. With flying ships with spotlights, it makes no sense to not put as much material between you and them while making your way out of your building to safety. Of course, to get off of the roof, Peter suggests using a window-cleaning carriage. As if on cue, the kids have a giant problem with this, even though just seconds earlier, they asked their parents what they're going to do. The carriage fails because of course it does, but the constant questioning of what the parents are doing is rage-inducing.
Aside from the atrocious writing, other elements make this movie one of the worst on Netflix. The CGI is always bad. There's a sequence where the alien force is breaking through the ceiling but the ceiling is even CGI, and it just takes you out of the movie. There's a scene with a train moving along a collapsing bridge that looks so obviously fake. Even the explosions look bad.
Instead of droning on about this movie, I'll leave you with a simple "don't watch this." Every single element of the movie is terrible.
If you'd like to hear my spoiler-filled thoughts, please listen to episode 103 of the Netflix 'N Swill podcast where I will get much deeper into the plot, of which I left out a few elements.