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Extinction Movie Review (2015)


Extinction Movie Review (2015) by JohnnyTwoToes of the Movie Slackers

For all of its lofty notions, Extinction is a noble effort in the zombie genre, a character driven drama with the zombies as a secondary plot. The problem is these characters are not too interesting. This is a story about survival, but Extinction is so paper thin in its characters that you will be rooting for the zombies. At least, they are more interesting to watch than the people.

Extinction starts with promise as a bus of survivors is being transported to a base by the military. When the buses are attacked, bedlam ensues sending the survivors running for their lives into the wild. Nine years later, two survivors, Patrick (Matthew Fox) and Jack(Jeffery Donovan) have taken up separate homes, but are neighbors behind a barbed wire fence. They seem to have found enough food and water to sustain themselves for nine years, but other than Patrick’s trips into the city for supplies, nothing else is explained. It is simply the two guys and Jack’s daughter, Lu played by Quinn McColgan. Jack spends his days teaching Lu about history and mathematics and by night they play games and frolic about the house. Patrick, on the other hand, drinks himself into a stupor and broadcasts on a radio for survivors. It seems that Patrick and Jack had both fallen for the same woman and it seems an adulterous affair had taken place producing Lu, but since the mother is killed in the first couple of minutes, the film never really explains what has actually happened up to that point. There is a lot of unexplained occurrences in Extinction.

The acting is sufficient and Matthew Fox and Jeffery Donovan keep straight faces through most of the film, but the drama with Lu is so burdensome and uninteresting that after a while, I could not have cared less. Quinn McColgan is fine as Lu but she is not given much to say or do except leave the home when she is not supposed to, steal cookies to give to the Patrick’s dog and oh, brush her teeth. Yes, there is a recurring theme to have good oral hygiene, even in the Apocalypse. When the film tries to address the relationship of Patrick, Jack and the animosity between them, it goes absolutely nowhere with it. They mostly scowl and have brief yelling fits, but that is about it. The zombies are merely and added distraction but they are the only characters that have any life to them, ironically.

Miguel Angel Vivas directs with flair for the material, but the script written by Alberto Marini and Vivas is so ineptly written that it throws off the pace of the whole film. The book this film was based on was penned by Juan de Dios Garduno and if they film is anything like the novel then you can skip both of these. They have good ideas for this film and try to make more than just another standard zombie horror flick, but the material is unnecessarily dreary, boring and not very involving. In the last act of the film they throw in a new character who they don’t even name. Clara Lago is simply listed as ‘the woman’ for her screen credit. They don’t explain her character at all; where she has come from, how she has survived or what she wants. Clara Lago might be a good actress but her character is unnecessary and does nothing for the film.

Maggie was a similarly themed zombie film that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as a father laboring what to do with his daughter who is stricken with the illness that will turn her into a zombie over a short period of time.  That film featured and father daughter relationship that felt real and as a viewer, i was involved with these characters. I cared what happened to them and ached along side them. Maggie was a quietly moving and effectively somber film about loss. Extinction is neither moving or effective. It is a ham fisted approach at making a drama about horror that is neither horrifying or dramatically interesting.  Watch Maggie and skip Extinction.

Extinction – Rated R for violence, gore and language

Extinction – Run Time is 112 minutes

Extinction Movie Review (2015) by JohnnyTwoToes of the Movie Slackers