15 years after a global apocalypse, mankind is on the verge of extinction. Civilisation no longer exists, food is scarce and most eke out a living by stealing and killing. One man clings onto life in his bunker, where staying away from others has been key to his survival. But this self-imposed isolation comes to an abrupt end when he crosses paths with another group of survivors and faces an enemy far more brutal and savage than any of them could have imagined.
Edge of Extinction is a post-apocalyptic thriller written and directed by Andrew Gilbert and starring the talents of Luke Hobson, Georgie Smibert, and Chris Kaye. It is a brutal, gory, and relentless struggle of survival and trust set in a very real and very probable wasteland. It is a story of moral dilemmas, human nature, and the savagery that dwells within us all—waiting for the right circumstances to reveal our darker natures.
Right off the bat we can see the typical differences between Hollywood and UK films. UK films always seem to have more relatable, regular people over the ridiculously buff or beautiful Hollywood casts. The fight scenes are less grandiose and more schoolyard scrap, and half the budget doesn’t go to the special effects. Their films usually feature regular people in extraordinary situation, oftentimes making the movie more appealing to your regular Joe. Edge of Extinction is no exception to this norm, offering a well-made, well-acted, very human experience.
The film is rather lengthy, nearing a two-hour twenty-minute runtime. The plot is dynamic, with much taking place and the pace remaining stable. We get to meet the various factions that inhabit this section of the English wasteland while watching some decent protagonist growth and development. Strange alliances are formed, bonds made and betrayed, and vengeance is a solid staple of the plot.
My qualms with the film are the same that I have with many in this genre. People have had no food or supplies for years, yet somehow, they all have shaven faces, shaven legs, neat haircuts, clean hair…sure, the clothes are filthy and some folks have mud splashed on their faces, but how are those nails so clean and those eyebrows plucked? I know this is nitpicking and pedantic but it never fails to bug me. There’s a reason Vikings had beards and braids and the Celts had dreads. How are you groomed and clean-shaven after partially going nuts and living on your own for years? Anyway…
Talking technical, Edge of Extinction is hits and misses. The score is simple and works well with the film, but it was very safe and uninspired. The editing is good, but only really in the latter half of the film once the pace picks up and we near our battle scenes. It’s a well-made, well-shot film that is sometimes under dramatic or lacking gusto. Some scenes, while action-filled, lacked a little seasoning or needed a bit more punch.
Personally, I found the runtime a bit too long and the film a tad drawn out. There were whole scenes that could have been cut and the viewing experience would have remained roughly the same. It wasn’t an unpleasant watch, but I’d probably have enjoyed it more as something episodic—there were tons of great characters and subplots that could have been built upon. Fortunately, the last act is stellar and the lengthy runtime is somewhat justified. It was a solid film and comes highly recommended if you like the post-apocalyptic genre. It’s more The Walking Dead than Mad Max but if The Walking Dead took place in the UK and the zombies were just regular cannibals. Thanks for reading and as always, stay sordid. Poster and trailer below.
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