‘Extinction’ Review: Peter Needs To Go

Netflix Movie Extinction: Peter (Michael Pena) and family hiding from alien

Extinction is a lot of things but good is not one of them. The story is boring with the only interesting thing being a plot twist that happens near the end. The lead character is an emotionless shell just reading lines from a script. The CGI is very bad and looks like something you would see in a made-for-TV movie.

Peter (Michael Pena) is an engineer working at a government factory. Things haven’t been going well for him lately due to the violent nightmares he’s been having. He keeps seeing strange lights in the sky, followed by an attack on the city.

His wife and co-workers believe he is suffering from a mental problem, but all that changes during a party at Peters apartment. Hundreds of lights fill the night sky as they hurtle towards the earth. A huge explosion rocks the city as attack ships and bipedal humanoid creatures enter his apartment complex on a murderous rampage. Peter believes his workplace is the closest shelter, so he leads his family through the war-torn city toward safety.

The beginning of the story is too slow, and many scenes seem to be there just to pad out the run time. Peter’s visions don’t really add much to the plot other than filling in some minor details. Around the one hour mark a unique plot twist does happen but by then the movie is almost over.

Netflix Movie Extinction: Peter (Michael Pena) and his wife Alice (Lizzy Caplan)

Peter gives an emotionless performance throughout the film making for a grueling watch. He is either calm, which is most of the time, or angry. With his wife and children being thrown into perilous danger numerous times, it’s just another day at the office for Peter. Even when a character close to him is mortally wounded, Peter cannot summon up the effort to give a response fitting of the scene.

To give credit where it’s due, the actors portraying Peters wife (Lizzy Caplan) and his two daughters (Amelia Crouch/Erica Tremblay) show a more engaged response to the events happening around them. If Peter had been removed completely from the script the audiences viewing experience would have been vastly improved.

The CGI looks like it was made on a very limited budget. Nothing appears authentic, the burning city, the ships in the sky, even the projectiles from the weapons are awful. The alien costumes look like cheaply made rubber suits that have more in common with the Creature from the Black Lagoon. These suits are not detailed or scary looking, they’re just plain ugly.

Extinction is a bad movie. While the story is poorly paced and boring, the unique plot twist was nicely done. Peter’s family is more interesting than he is from start to finish. Bad CGI didn’t doom this film, but Peter and the script sure did.

  • Story
  • Cast
  • Presentation