Monday, August 13, 2018

Extinction (2018)

I remember learning that Netflix doesn’t necessarily produce its original movies.  The company may buy the rights at some point during or after production.  This is good for movies that might not otherwise make it to a screen.  This can be bad for viewers who don’t always get the best movies out there.  It ends up padding Netflix’s offerings with mediocre movies.  Take Extinction.  The movie was going to be released in theaters.  When distribution fell through, Netflix stepped in.

The movie takes place at some point in Earth’s future.  No date is shown, but technology has advanced considerably.  Peter and Alice are two normal parents.  Peter works at a factory and Alice has some sort of public-works job.  Their kids seem like normal children.  They even live in a nice apartment building.

Peter and Alice have just finished hosting a party.  Suddenly, attacks come from above.  No mention is made of a foreign nation and the ships are unfamiliar, so it must be aliens.    One guest from the party remains, so the adults find their kids and try to think of a way to safety.  The factory where Peter works is a safe place, but it’s ten blocks away.  Alice knows enough about the sewer system to get them there.  Along the way, they have to fight off the aliens.

Yes, we do get the big reveal.  We find out who the invaders are and what they want.  I found it wasn’t really enough to support a feature-length film.  It’s the kind of thing that would be better suited for a Twilight Zone episode.  Unfortunately, we don’t really get enough suspense (or anything else, for that matter) to support the movie.

I felt like it was a very minimal effort.  Peter and Alice had just enough of a history to make it so that the story could move along.  We don’t even know exactly what they do.  We just know that Peter does something technical in a place that could provide shelter and that whatever Alice does means that she can get them there.  Even having children seemed to be a way of giving them something to protect.

A lot of things seemed cliché about the movie.  The main group has to make it down the side of a building on one of those window-washing perches.  Seriously, though:  Has that ever worked?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie where no one was in danger of falling off.

At the risk of sounding cliché, myself, the movie looks like it could set up a series or at least a sequel.  It’s like a pilot episode that had additional material put it to bring it up to 95 minutes.  I think maybe a sequel was planned, but I’m not counting on it ever being produced.  I think maybe Universal had the right idea in not distributing it.

IMDb page

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