Time: 116 Minutes
Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake
Rudhraksh Jaiswal as Ovi Mahajan
Randeep Hooda as Saju
Golshifteh Farahani as Nik Khan
Pankaj Tripathi as Ovi Mahajan Sr.
David Harbour as Gaspar
Director: Sam Hargrave
A black-market mercenary (Chris Hemsworth) who has nothing to lose is hired to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord. But in the murky underworld of weapons dealers and drug traffickers, an already deadly mission approaches the impossible.
Extraction was a movie I heard about for a little bit. I knew it was an action movie from Netflix starring Chris Hemsworth and produced by the Russo Brothers. While I haven’t had a close look at it or seen any of the trailers, it didn’t interest me very much. With the brief glances I had of it, combined with the reactions, it looked like another throwaway Netflix movie that happened to star a big Hollywood actor. Nonetheless I checked it out, just out of curiosity, and it turned out better than I thought it would be, I enjoyed it despite there not really being a lot to it.
Plot is simple enough and nothing you haven’t seen before. The script is written by Joe Russo, and it’s not really all that good. It’s pretty familiar to that of other action thrillers, and is fairly predictable. There isn’t much to the characters, it’s not that sort of movie. Even Chris Hemsworth as the lead is the typical mercenary character seen in action movies, one who starts off only being interested in the job of saving a drug lord’s child for the money, and you can probably predict where how he’ll be by the end of the movie. Some people have called Extraction yet another white saviour flick, and they’re not really wrong, it’s a valid criticism. Extraction is also one of those modern movies that occupies the weird space between thrillers that are dark, gritty and brutal, and those that are absurd and over the top. Extraction is a movie where the lead character called Tyler Rake kills two men in the same scene with a rake. At the same time though, it also exists in a movie which has a scene where a drug lord has a child thrown off a balcony, and tries to make another cut off their own fingers. I’m not really sure that the two approaches mesh all that well. Even the moments when they try to be serious don’t always work, and overall it probably would’ve been better to lean into the more over the top action side.
Chris Hemsworth is very much the lead of this movie, and he is quite good on his part. As previously said, his character is very typical, but Hemsworth added a lot with his performance. He’s also very convincing physically in the action sections. The rest of the cast work well enough too. There is another person that Hemsworth’s character is up against played by Randeep Hooda (who’s also trying to get the kid that Hemsworth is looking to ‘extract’ too), and he does quite a lot in his screentime. Other cast members like Golshifteh Farahani and David Harbour also do well enough in their roles.
This is Sam Hargrave’s first film as a director, previously he was an actor and a stunt coordinator. Extraction is a reasonably good debut for him. Now I honestly didn’t know what to expect with the action going in, this being a Netflix movie and all. However, the action is definitely the movie’s biggest strength. It’s well filmed, the stunt work is great, and you can see everything that’s happening on screen. It’s brutal too, for some it may be too much and indeed some had an issue with it, but I ate that all up. The highlight is a 12 minute sequence which is made to look like its filmed in one tracking shot. Yes you can probably figure that it was done with some trick photography and splicing shots together, but it is nonetheless impressive, and a real thrill to watch. Something that has been pointed out about the movie since Extraction’s release was the yellow filter put over the scenes in Bangladesh. Now the whole movie isn’t like this, but it is annoying, and I don’t know why Extraction or a lot of other movies do this.
Extraction was better than I expected, the acting is good, and action is directed incredibly well and is very entertaining. It is still has an average script and is overall a pretty forgettable action flick that doesn’t do anything that you haven’t seen before. But if you’re up for a violent action movie, check out Extraction at some point.