This one really surprised me. I didn’t watch it for quite a while, mainly because all the roles I’ve seen Michael Pena in have been comedic, and I wasn’t sure he could pull something serious off well. I finally gave it a try one night when I couldn’t find anything better to watch. Although critics have panned it, I found it interesting – especially a plot twist that I did not expect at all. Unfortunately I can’t talk about that plot twist…
I have to say, if you are looking for a movie with tons of action right from the beginning, this one isn’t for you. The first half hour or so is really setup, and the actors don’t show much emotion in many of the scenes, except for the ones that involve their children. There’s a reason for that – it is not due to bad acting. Not by a long shot.
So by now, most watchers, or at least the reviewers, have gotten bored with the setup, and then they complain about the action scenes. OK, they aren’t the highest quality that money can buy, but they are far, far from the worst. In my opinion, these people are missing the point of the movie. This one is a thinker. I re-watched it the next day to see if it held together, and it did. I also suspect that in their boredom, many people didn’t pay attention to the little details that are what hold the movie together.
If you like movies that make you think, ‘Ah, so that’s what’s going on!’, you may enjoy this. That is exactly the kind of thing I like, so I truly enjoyed this. It helps to use the short story rule – everything that happens is important to the story, even when it seems like it is not.
It begins with a father going about his normal day, while narrating how his days all seem the same. Work, home, family. He lives a normal life, with a normal family, a job, a home… normal. And yet sometimes he wonders if he truly knows who he, or anyone he knows, is who he has always thought them to be. He starts having visions about an attack, but no one believes him. He then learns that other people have had similar problems, and that after they visit a sleep clinic, they forget all about their odd dreams and visions. His wife begs him to seek help, but he doesn’t want to forget, because he fears that they will come true and he will be unprepared to protect his family. An attack finally comes, but it isn’t exactly as he had foreseen it.
Given all the bad reviews, I convinced my husband to watch it tonight, to see if maybe I was missing some huge flaw. He really liked it. A lot. So I looked at more reviews, and came across an interesting insight. Some state that if you like science fiction, you will most likely enjoy the movie. Excuse me, gentle readers, but if the reviewers don’t like science fiction, why the hell are they reviewing science fiction movies??? If what they like is extremely expensive futuristic battle scenes, then what they really like is action movies, and not necessarily science fiction. Science fiction, at its core, is about exploring futuristic ideas in an entertaining way, whether that be hopeful or horrific. Extinction succeeds in that far better than many more popular science fiction movies.