Extraction Movie Review
In this review I have two opinions on the Extraction movie, please read them and leave your comments below.
Following the footsteps of fellow stuntmen turned Directors, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch of John Wick, Deadpool and Atomic Blonde fame, Extraction sees former stuntman Sam Hargrave make his directional debut.
Extraction doesn’t quite share the sheen or polish found in the John Wick films but it opts for a muddier grittier aesthetic. The violence is unrelenting and there are copious amounts of blood spilled, sadly the film is generic to a fault with proceedings becoming easily predictable.
Chris Hemsworth plays Tyler Rake a mercenary for hire who is dispatched to Dhaka, Bangladesh to retrieve a crime lord kidnapped son, Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal). Rake and his team successfully infiltrates the kidnapper’s stronghold and rescues the kid but as Rake makes his way to the designated extraction point he is betrayed by the one that hired his team, Saju (Randeep Hooda).
Rake and Ovi go on the run being chased by Saju and the rival crime lord Amir (Priyanshu Painyuli) who orchestrated the kidnap of Ovi. Rakes commander of operations Nik Khan (Golshifteh Farahani) tells Rake to ditch the kid and she can arrange for his extraction but Rake opts to save the kid none the less. Soon the whole city is overrun by people looking for Rake and Ovi even the local police are in cahoots with Amir.
When the action stops the film attempts to add dramatic elements that do slow the film down, with exposition that is more for the viewer’s knowledge than a natural reveal of character. Rakes tragic back story feels very haphazardly put together with its reveal feeling less heartfelt but just another checklist of emotions ticked off.
The best story element is possibly Ovi’s back story, where he wishes for a semblance of a simple life but is caught up in being a crime lords son sadly that territory is only hinted briefly for it to only slightly lingers in the air every so often.
Now the majority of babysitting films can be grating but thankfully Extraction makes the protected a likable character that adheres to the commands given to him, he does not whine about it and does not choose to do anything stupid that is usually the norm with these types of scenarios.
A major plot point that may irk a lot of people is how Saju demonstrates great competence akin to Rake but why does he hire Rake and his team just to betray them opposed to just rescuing the kid alone avoiding the hassle that followed.
Sam Hargreaves demonstrates a knack for high octane action set pieces and a reasonably competent hand in direction. It would just have been better if the script could have brought more to the table and considering Joe Russo (Captain America Winter Soldier and The Avengers Endgame) helped to draft the script from the graphic novel Ciudad it’s baffling how it ended up being such a bland affair.
Chris Hemsworth is pretty much your typical Rambo style brooding soldier of fortune who comes packaged with his nightmares and baggage, Hemsworth handles it just well if a bit tiring.
Rudraksha Jaiswal gives a strong performance as Ovi demonstrating deft ability in handling pain and terror while shedding some genuinely emotional scenes with Hemsworth.
Hemsworth and Jaiswal compliment each other so well showing a great dynamic. Golshifteh Farahani is supposed to be the commander of operations but her character is written with little intellect with little knowledge of tactical planning or on the field skills. Farahani expressionless acting hurts the proceedings and her relationship with Hemsworth’s Rake is never really explained.
Priyanshu Painyuli seems ill-fitted as the rival crime lord Amir where he possesses little charisma and spends his time spewing inane dialogue.
The addition of David Harbour is rather pointless and his character contributes little to nothing to the overall plot, his eventual outcome is also so predictable.
Action can be broken down in two parts; one being an exceptional showcase of creativity with an unrelenting sense of danger bolstered by exceptional camera movement and the other end of the spectrum is just your average action shootout found in countless other shoot em ups.
The film has a good amount of action sequences spruced throughout but sadly nothing matches the epic one-shot sequence found about one third into the film. Taking much inspiration from The Raid series the camera is frantic and moves intricately through a car chase, to a foot chase, shootout and then a brutal one on one battle. It’s an impressive test of endurance and the camera motion compliments the creative action on display.
Hemsworth utilizes a host of close quarter combat focusing on lots of Krav Maga moves and lots of disarming techniques which interspersed with military handling of the gun against hordes of henchmen.
Sadly the action devolves after this scene opting for some very generic set pieces, though by and large they are well-staged and shot coherently there is just not the same sense of awe that was present at the aforementioned single-take action sequence.
A mano-o-mano between Hemsworth and David Harbour is a sloppy wrestle which threw away any semblance of skills and technique that we witness prior.
The finale is a very pedestrian shootout from a market place to a highway bridge that feels rather similar to a host of other shootouts. Something that sets it apart is the clarity of camera movements and framing, editing is concise without sacrificing the action.
Visual effects are not always up to par, by and large, they serve the job adequately but there are moments of explosions and smoke that do look out of place. Thankfully practical effects take priority for the majority of the time and it’s a glorious eruption of explosions and gunfire. The film is violent and there is a large quantity of blood spilled without ever going into realms of too much and it is fitting for a film of this nature.
The film is enjoyable as brain dead action romp and there is a good amount of action sequences laced throughout but it is weighed down by a forgettable plot. Extraction marks a great stepping point for Sam Hargrave and hopefully, there are good things to come from this.
Wow! What a ride! I mean there are so many good things about the new Chris Hemsworth Netflix movie that I have to write them down to keep them in any sensible order, so here goes.
Anybody who is an action movie fan of anything put out in the last several years judges everything by the bar Keanu Reeves set in the John Wick films. The hand to hand combat, gunfights and car chases were second to none, and only one film came close to that intensity which was American Assassin.
It starred Dylan O’Brien and was directed by Michael Cuesta and gave us another cool, slick film to satisfy us between John Wick chapters. Then Chris Hemsworth stood up, stretched his massive shoulders, walked to the head of the line and tells both Keanu and Dylan “Here hold my beer, and don’t drink it”, which amusingly enough he does in the first few moments of the movie Extraction with some Aussie pals.
The director, Sam Hargrave whose resume includes stunt coordinator on anything from Avengers Endgame to the Accountant and Atomic Blonde, utilizes an 11 minute long, single-take style car chase and gunfight over the rooftops and through the city streets and alleyways, that if you blink even once, you will lose track of what just happened and be lost.
Hargrave’s direction coupled with Hemsworth’s stoic focus and physical prowess, become a deadly combination that leaves a body count of immense proportions. The movie has it’s own style like Wick and Assassin and is a brother-in-arms to both, but Extraction is quickly recognized as a big brother, and if Hargrave and Hemsworth can collaborate on future films of this nature, then my worries of where the action movie genre might be going after the old guard retires are relaxing a bit more.
Following Hemsworth’s Instagram over the last 2 years, he had been hinting at a new movie he was excited to be filming and had been training hard for and this is it. Extraction has many parts and elements holding it together, and even though a few are cliché in action films of the rescue or kidnapping style, the film will not let its characters rest for a moment from the time the shooting starts till the end, and you will not be disappointed, yet you will be a bit exhausted.
Tyler Rake’s main rival is Sachin, played by actor Shivam Vichare a veteran of several dramatic foreign films. As deadly as Hemsworth’s Rake, Sachin is an employee of the imprisoned crime lord, and whose family is threatened if he does not get the boy first, and despite the normal bad guy’s Rake has to dispatch, Sachin goes all Terminator in his pursuit of Rake and the boy even to the point there is a hotel room scene reminiscent of the original Terminator in which Sachin mends his many wounds.
Slammed over cars, shot and thrown through objects Sachin keeps on coming until Rake decides the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and brokers a treaty in the better interest of the boy giving them both an edge over the corrupt police and soldiers chasing the quarry they’re attempting to protect.
Both actors bring their A-game in this flick, and if they used stunt doubles, I hope they were paid well for the beatings they took during filming. From my research, this is Shivam Vichare’s first action vehicle, and I hope to see more from him in the future whether it’s in American cinema or Bollywood.
Rudraksha Jaiswal plays Ovi Mahajan, the targeted teen, and his pure terror throughout the film is believable especially when Rake asks him in the heat of battle does he trust him, which is answered by a resounding NO, answered with Rake’s response of good as he hurls the young man off a roof to a lower building.
As the film progresses both Rake and Mahajan’s bond grows giving Mahajan a hero and Rake a second chance at redemption from a past that is not quite clear but can be seen explicitly in Hemsworth’s eyes the more the rescue mission continues.
The ending I will leave for you to experience yourself, but make no bones about it, what you will witness is the glory that happens when a good actor and a good stunt coordinator are given a golden opportunity to make a great movie….and it works!
Extraction is only playing on Netflix, and if this is the level of movies they will be producing from now on, then my answer to the question ‘Are you still watching?’ will be a resounding YES!
Get the popcorn ready folks, and enjoy the ride called Extraction!
(Scott Davis is a resident of Winston-Salem, NC, and has studied the martial arts since the age of ten, and at 50 years of age is still an avid practitioner. A fan of the martial arts and action genre films from an early age when everyone else watched football on Saturdays, he tuned in to Black Belt feature.)