Renamed for its UK release by Metrodome Alien Extinction is another ‘Mockbuster’ from the lunatics at The Asylum. Originally titled as Age of Tomorrow in the USA, the movie clung hot on the trail of Tom Cruise biggie Edge of Tomorrow, with a whole bundle of other stuff thrown in for good measure in low-budget kind of way.
So NASA scientists discover an asteroid a quarter of the size of the Moon hurtling towards the Earth and bring US Marine Corps pilot Captain James Wheeler (Anthony Marks) out off self-imposed retirement to lead a mission to blow it up. Wheeler insists on putting his own team together and sets off with nobody being at all concerned that they have never flown a space shuttle before, I mean how hard can it be?
In a parallel story Los Angeles Firefighter Chris Meher (Lane Towsend) is battling blazes caused by meteors from the asteroid.
So far we have Armageddon mashed with Backdraft, but then Wheeler discovers that the asteroid is in fact an alien mother ship with a portal to an alien world populated by a kind of low rent rubber suited predator who likes nothing better than strapping humans onto operating tables.
As if that isn’t bad enough Meher discovers that the meteors are actually alien weapon platforms that either blast people to bits or beam them back to the alien world for the aliens to strap them on to operating tables. Meher goes off in search of his daughter Lindsay (Taylor Coliee). Naturally conventional weapons are useless against the extra-terrestrial drones, but the aliens had not counted on this Fireman’s mighty chopper!
So can Wheeler and his team save the Earth? Will Meher find Lindsay before the aliens do? Well that would be telling, but despite some questionable acting and the cheap effects Alien Extinction is an entertaining enough watch. Even if just to see where the producers have filched the plot elements from. Aside from the already mentioned Backdraft, Predator and Armageddon, there are bits inspired by Aliens, Star Wars, Moonraker, George Pal’s War of the Worlds (1953), Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, and Stargate to name but a few. Star Trek Voyager‘s Robert Picardo is the compulsory cult TV star who gets to top up his pension fund as a Marine Corps General.
Cheap and derivative, but with plenty of action and the odd bit of grue Alien Extinction is still a whole pile of undemanding fun I give it a 333/666.
DVD extras include short making of doc and a gag reel.
Alien Extinction was released on 4 January in the UK price £14.99 Cert 15