“Extinction” Gets a Reprieve

Extinction is a Netflix alien invasion thriller with a mid film twist that almost makes it a guilty pleasure.

Michael Pena gets a chance to be a lead in this story about a tech maintenance worker trying to get his family to safety after the invasion begins. Liz Caplan and Lilly Aspell play the rest of the threatened family.

It is not too much of a spoiler to note that Caplan replicates a young Sean Young in one of her better known roles. Pena’s ability to play the bland father and steady rock also adds to making the twist effective.

There are ten blocks and several underground layers of predictable plot and chase scenes before the twist deploys. It changes Extinction from routine Netflix offering to something philosophically interesting, effecting and almost worth the time and effort.

Yes, it stops Extinction in its tracks, but the film was in dire peril of being run over by its own genre cliches. Smart of director Ben Young and screenwriters Eric Heisserer and Brad Kane to know when to switch those tracks.

Extinction is wry enough to avoid its title.

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