Somewhere, Mel Gibson’s watching ‘Extraction’ and saying to himself, “Why didn’t they call me?”
‘Extraction’ is a film that is done every few years with a different action star at the forefront, but Chris Hemsworth (“Thor: Ragnarok“, “Avengers: Endgame“) shows off his action persona that has only been glimpsed in the “Thor” and “Avengers” sagas.
Set in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Hemsworth’s Mercenary Tyler Rake is paid to rescue Ov Mahajan, Jr., Rudhraksh Jaiswal, son of crime lord Ovi Mahajan, Sr., Pankaj Tripathi (“Newton”, “Stree”), from Bangladesh’s biggest drug lord Amir Asif, Priyanshu Painyuli (“Once Again”, “Upstarts”).
First, this film has a few more Marvel connections other than Hemsworth with Director Sam Hargrave (Stunt Coordinator for “Avengers: Endgame”, “Deadpool 2“) and writer Joe Russo (“Avengers: Endgame“, “Avengers: Infinity War“).
Second, a lot of viewers were upset about the amount of action or violence, but like the comparable ‘John Wick’ series, it is all so much fun because you’re in awe of what’s going on. Once Rake enters Dhaka, the action becomes nonstop and you may as well buckle up because it rarely stops.
With an experienced Stunt Coordinator at the helm, I expected a fun fight scene here and there, but Hargrave exceeded all of my expectations and one-upped himself fight after fight. Like Chad Stahelski (“The Matrix”, “John Wick series”), another Stunt Coordinator turned Director, he puts his star through the ringer and Hemsworth keeps up and looks like her is having a blast.
Cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel (“Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Drive“) brings the fights to life and expertly shoots the one-take action scene that will be the long-remembered moment of the film. Unfortunately, the city of Dhaka gets left on the backburner due the fast-paced set pieces not allowing the eyes to wander the background.
This was Hemsworth’s best work to date as he’s the only one given any story. I hope he receives more action-heavy roles with less CGI because his frame and skills really show off intimidation.
The supporting cast doesn’t do anything other than rely on Hemsworth’s actions. The young Jaiswal just runs and asks questions, and his bodyguard Saju, played by Randeep Hooda (“Baaghi 2”, “Sultan”) fights and keeps on fighting. The less said about David Harbour (“Hellboy“, “Stranger Things (TV)“) the better. His character, Gaspar, felt like he was shoehorned in just to get more viewers from Netflix subscribers. the whole sequence felt unnecessary from the entire film.
I really like the trust that Netflix has with its creators, and ‘Extraction’ is a major step up from the fun but ridiculous and empty “6 Underground“, but I hope we get an action film with a better story soon. When major things happen in the third act, I didn’t care what happened to these characters. Like generic action films beforehand, people get shot then sad music plays to make sure audiences feel something.
If we get a sequel, I hope the action remains and the emotional stakes are higher for us to feel from watching what’s happening rather than being told by the music.