A Tale Of Two Armageddons

There were two Netflix movies I wanted to watch in this last week. The first was one I had heard about for awhile that seemed to be an apocalyptic drama which I thought would have great action. The other was something that recently popped up on my radar as maybe a movie that would provide some distraction but I wasn't expecting much. After watching both movies, my initial opinions were completely reversed. The first movie was only science fiction in tone and marketing presentation while the second movie was fun and also surprisingly thoughtful.

Chicago is always screwed when he is around.
How It Ends is a movie about a young man who travels to Chicago for business and to ask his girlfriend's father for his blessing to marry her. There is also some large disaster that destroys a large part of the west coast. This was the film I was excited to see but it turned into a different drama than I expected. How It Ends is basically a road trip movie as two guys, a father and a boyfriend, travel from the Midwest to Seattle to rescue a pregnant woman they both love. There is friction to begin with between the two that is the usual "tough dad hates boyfriend" tale compound by some past incident involving a boat. It's a slow burn of a story and a lot is predictable, from the boyfriend's growth into a capable fighter to a peace being reached between the two. What made me upset about watching this film was that I didn't get the science fiction that I felt was marketed in the initial promotion. There is never any true explanation to the event that happened outside of a theory presented by one of the characters. The destruction seen is very short and not at all what I was hoping to see. The dramatic moments were okay and if the film was presented that way I don't think I would have been disappointed. The interactions between Theo James and Forest Whitaker were good but this just was not the movie I was expecting.

MCU alums as mom and dad? I'm in.
Extinction was the opposite of my viewing experience for How It Ends. This movie centers on a family man played by Michael Pena who is having nightmares about a war with an invading force. The people around him are worried that he is losing it and suggests that he go to a doctor to deal with it but, SURPRISE, he's right. The Martians are coming. What could be a pretty formulaic movie is saved by the production design, costuming, acting and a plot point reveal which is suggested early on but not to the detriment of the story as a whole. The decisions made in this movie makes sense to me and, as much as I love science fiction, it isn't always the case in this genre. The family dynamic is believable and any silly decisions that are made seem natural. I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. The ending definitely left me in a better place than the final moments of How It Ends.

Netflix is continuing to provide us with good original content. I am not happy that they fell into that situation of promoting a movie as science fiction when it really wasn't but the fact that we have other choices to balance it out makes me feel better. How It Ends wasn't terrible but it wasn't the film I was expecting. If you want a slow burning drama, then it's the movie for you. If you want your science fiction a bit more "sci-fi" and active, then check out Extinction.

Sean Fields is an aspiring writer and has been in the education field for more than a decade. He works mostly with teenagers nowadays which both keeps him well informed on pop culture and makes his hair turn grayer daily. He has a few blogs but is currently focused on this one and this other one. You can also find him on TumblrTwitter and Instagram, if you want to be entertained or infuriated.
A Tale Of Two Armageddons A Tale Of Two Armageddons Reviewed by Sean Fields on Monday, July 30, 2018 Rating: 5
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