Lightning Review of Netflix’s Extinction. This will contain spoilers.
My time with Netflix is soon coming to an end.
The streaming service was once my haven for entertainment but it has deteriorated and continues to deteriorate into a platform where only the screechy, tiresome voice of ‘progressives’ is heard. It’s interesting that you could find all manner of moral depravity throughout their catalog but films that support the notion of a healthy nuclear family are few and far between; largely relegated to a few Christmas specials that manage to squeeze through. And even those have to meet various progressive ‘quotas’ before they see the light of day.
More and more I find myself retreating to the past in order to find something that isn’t trying to morally indoctrinate me with socialist idiocy.
Amazon Prime has a lot of these classic films but given Mr. Bezos’s political predilections I fear this respite will be short-lived. Hopefully, someone will come along to bring back a renaissance of entertainment as well as a home for us normal nomads.
Netflix’s Sci-fi/horror drama Extinction begins by questioning the validity of our ‘system’ and much to my exasperation it never really stops. Directed by newcomer Ben Young (Hounds of Love, 2016) with a screenplay by Spenser Cohen, Eric Heisserer (A Nightmare on Elm Street, 2010) and Brad Kane. The film tells the story of Peter (Michael Pëna) and his wife, Alice, played by Lizzy Caplan. Peter has been having nightmares about the world being in conflict with a mysterious and dangerous enemy. His wife wants him to see someone about the dreams and it has taken a toll on his relationship with his daughters.
Okay, that’s the wrap, let’s cut to the spoilers and the jist of the flick. It turns out that Peter wasn’t having dreams about an upcoming event he was experiencing memories of a past event. But that doesn’t mean he was wrong about something dangerous coming down the pike. It turns out that Peter…and everyone he knows are ‘synthetic’ people who ‘acheived’ sentience (more on this later). The danger is that the humans…the ones that were apparently chased off the planet in a violent war that we see in Peter’s ‘nightmares’ have come back, bigger, badder and meaner.
At least they got that part right, I can’t fathom humans as a whole being happy with losing their planet. We just aren’t built that way.
The film attempts to touch upon a subject that many films and TV shows have done before. What happens when a machine gains sentience? Essentially…what constitutes life and who gets to define what that is. Problem is, that those in the past have done a far, far better job of it. Perhaps, if the writers of this film weren’t so interested in trying to tie-in current progressive mantras and arguments they would have fared better at tackling this otherwise fascinating topic.
Alas, they did not. And the film suffered for it. Bigly.
My many issues with this movie
The synthetic humans had a battle/war with their makers driving them from the planet. Then in an act of irony, resembling the left’s obsession of with destroying symbols of the past they find unpleasant (like statues), the synthetics wipe their memories of these events. This, of course, is next level idiocy that resulted in the third time I wanted to turn this nonsense off since I began it. (The first being the reveal that they were synthetics, the second was when they used the Charlottesville chant ‘You will not replace us’ to make some sort of ‘point’. These are the kinds of plot gymnastics used by someone trying to insert a square peg into a round hole. I.e: bad storytelling. So desperate were they to produce a Shyamalan-like twist that it rendered their story inane.
Some synthetics decided to keep their memories because they wanted to prepare for the inevitable return of the humans. Let me tell you that if this is the best their artificial minds could come up with in terms of preparedness they need to call it a day now. The synthetics were decimated…in what seemed like only hours. Entire cities laid to waste. I can only imagine that the best plan they could come up with was run. Because that’s what they did.
Could someone tell me the purpose of a synthetic child? One that isn’t steeped in grotesque motivations (I’m looking at you James Gunn)? 50 years have gone by and these ‘kids’ are still blubbering, annoying gits…did someone program that? Was perpetual annoying kid a natural evolution for A.I. intellect? Inquiring minds want to know.
So they have their memories erased so that they can forget they killed a bunch of people and consequently also believed they were human. Okay…what human child doesn’t age after 50 years? What adult? Was this a ‘very convenient’ software blindspot? Did they rewrite all the history and science books to indicate that 50 years of absolutely no physical change is normal? Indeed.
50 years go by (they really, really didn’t put much thought in this) and Michael Pēna’s character Peter never noticed that he doesn’t experience pain? Even though he works in an industry were he is bound to get hurt from time to time? Not one of these synthetics had a booboo in 50 years??
Was he ‘programmed’ to be a crappy dad, too?
The handling of the synthetics gaining sentience was extremely hokey to me. The notion that if A.I. were to emerge that it would basically precede on indistinguishable from humans is laughable beyond belief and was only done in service to the plot and its lammo twist.
‘We’re not that different, if others can see that we’ll have a future after all’
The train they escape on has grafitti on the side of it…graffiti! Who is doing this grafitti? More importantly…why?
I especially like the part where they stopped the train to wait for Peter and Alice…and then waited while they spent 5 minutes hugging their not-kids. Take your time guys…it’s not like we’re trying to avoid Extinction or anything. Who wrote this nonsense?…oh right, we know who.
If Neflix keeps proceeding in the direction it’s going with crap movies like this that are more interested in preaching than telling a cohesive story…Netflix is going to find itself Extinct.
1 out of 5 stars.
Lot’s of progressive propaganda.