Extraction: A Flashy and Exciting Time
The new Netflix film is 120 minutes of pure pulse pounding action.
I don't really watch alot of action movies - for me, the story is an integral part of a movie experience and most action movies aren't known for their narratives or their complex character arcs. There are of course, notable exceptions to this (the Mission Impossible franchise comes to mind), but by and large, I tend to pass them over. Every once in a while, however, I'll find myself sitting down and giving one a watch whenever I'm in need of an escape from the real world for a bit, and when I sat down to watch Extraction yesterday, that's exactly what I got.
Extraction, which released on Netflix on April 24th, follows the story of Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), a mercenary for hire who is contracted to bring back the kidnapped son of India's biggest drug lord from Dhaka, where he is being held captive by Bangladesh's biggest drug lord. In the middle of what seems to be a pretty routine operation, something goes horribly wrong, leaving Tyler stranded in Dhaka with the entire armed forces of the country after him. Tyler, along with his young companion, have to navigate a series of dangerous obstacles to make sure they can escape the country alive.
This film is directed by Sam Hargrave, who actually served as the stunt coordinator in both Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame, and also has the world famous Russo brothers attached as chief producers. Going into the movie knowing this raised my expectations for the film somewhat, even though I'd heard that this movie was essentially a standard action flick that involved a great deal of violence and explosions, and to be fair, while I did get exactly that, it was executed in a solid fashion.
The action scenes were absolutely tantalizing to look at, and it's abundantly clear that they were directed by someone with vast experience in the art. Directing and filming hand to hand combat scenes and car chases in narrow and congested streets is no easy task, but this movie managed to pull off some absolute stunners, including a simulated 'one take' that ran for almost 11 minutes, which I personally felt was the best moment in the film - it was mesmerizing. After the initial one third of the movie, there is almost non-stop action, barring a small break near the final act. I was constantly on the edge of my seat during the last 25 or 30 minutes of the movie, wondering just how much more the action would escalate.
Unfortunately, the movie doesn't have much going for it in terms of plot - what I've described above is basically the extent of it. The story is pretty cut and dry, and there is no effort to flesh any of the characters out any more than what the basic story demands. We do get some backstory for Hemsworth's character in occasional flashbacks and some of the characters he interacts with throughout the course of the film, but its not delved into much. At the end of the day, it seems like the director knew that the main drawing point of this movie would be the action, and to the film's credit, it delivers that in spades.
Overall, is Extraction a bad movie? No, of course not. It's got a very talented cast, with Hemsworth and Randeep Hooda being the standouts, great visuals and amazing stunt work. You may not be very invested in the plot, but the sheer amount of pulse pounding action packed in the runtime makes it a definite recommendation if you're bored and have nothing to do for a couple of hours. I'm giving Extraction a 6.5/10.