The alien invasion plot is an industry standard that is now as boilerplate as Batman’s origin and Netflix’s Extinction upholds this formula in a by-the-books thriller yet manages to present the film in a slick and entertaining way. Yes, there is a plot twist deep in the third act that is satisfying and, believe it or not, even a little surprising, which helps provide an explanation in a Marvel No-Prize sort of way for the rather stilted performance from a usually affable Michael Pena.

For all of the standardization this film brings, such as video-game quality f/x and aliens that look like extras from the set of Doctor WhoExtinction does succeed with showcasing the family dynamic during wartime. Pena’s Peter is not a macho alpha male who goes all John McClane when the bullets start a’flying, but instead pauses, and thinks; he plans on how to get his family to survive. His actions are believable and are truly what makes an average direct-release sci-fi flick all the more enjoyable.

Plus, Sweet Christmas, Luke Cage guest stars.

A version of this review was posted on imdb.com

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