The stunts you get to see in the new Netflix original film Extraction, starring Chris Hemsworth is nothing short of spectacular. Stuntman turned director Sam Hargrave really pushes the boundaries of raw action in this film and with an emotional layer that eventually works in favor of the film in an okay way, I would say Extraction is worth a shot. The under two-hour-long movie does succeed in engaging the viewer with the content even when it goes to those clichéd zones.
Ovi Mahajan, the son of a mighty drug lord in India gets kidnapped by his counterpart in Bangladesh. Saju, an ex-military who was supposed to take care of Ovi’s security since his father was behind the bars, is now in a difficult situation as Mahajan senior wasn’t happy. So Saju hires Tyler Rake, an expensive extraction expert. But pretty soon into the operation a major foul play happens and the movie is about the events that unfold after this detour from the actual plan.
Whenever Hollywood showed India on screen we used to see this recurring frame of a slum and one good thing I was impressed about Extraction was the way it showed Mumbai as a normal city. I don’t have any idea about Dhaka as a city, so I can’t comment on the picture they created of kids walking on the streets with guns. Yes, the violence is extreme here. Tyler Rake is beating up a lot of people in his mission and that includes minors. The texture of the plot is such that you won’t find it as an extremely problematic thing. They are pretty much trying to make Bangladesh look like the Mexico of the East and I am guessing this could well become a topic post the release of this film. The screenplay of the movie is credited to Joe Russo of the Russo brothers. The thing with Extraction is that structurally it is like a John Wick where the action is the main attraction but there will be an unseen back story. In Extraction that back-story feels a bit too predictable or typical. I loved the way they placed Tyler as a man who admits that he isn’t brave even after doing all those insane stunts. The movie ends with the possibility of a potential sequel and I hope this less explored back story of Tyler will get some more space in that.
This is Sam Hargrave’s first movie as a director and he has previously worked as a stunt coordinator in movies like Captain America: Civil War and Avenger: Endgame. There is this single-shot action sequence in the movie that looks incredible. Yes, we do know where they placed the cuts and what all levels of visual effects were used in it, but the overall pacing and energy of that whole sequence was pretty much breathtaking. And an interesting thing about that whole sequence was the way the camera smoothly transitioned from the perspective of characters played by Hemsworth, Hooda, and the new kid Rudhraksh Jaiswal. Post the midway point Joe Russo places the emotional track and I must say it gave the whole bloodshed a basic depth. The movie wasn’t really celebrating the killing spree of its hero. The end set-piece in the movie, even though it was brutal, somewhere lost that authentic vibe. Explosions and gunfights are happening on a bridge and the bad guy is watching all this from his mansion (almost like Sivagami in Baahubali). The character development of the villain played by the supremely talented Priyanshu Painyuli felt insufficient. There was an attempt to make him a Pablo Escobar, but that character never stays with you simply because of the unimpressive writing.
Chris Hemsworth with his physique fits into the mold of the character easily. His depiction of the physical and psychological pain of Tyler was good. Randeep Hooda may have got only a small time in the trailer, but in the movie, he has enough time to make an impression. Saju also has a story and there are certain parallels between him and Tyler. Hooda was a believable tough guy. Rudhraksh Jaiswal is the other key guy here who plays the character of Ovi. It’s not a one-dimensional role as we see him talk about his traumas and also go through certain things during the course of the particular event. Rudhraksh delivered a convincing performance. Like I already said, Priyanshu Painyuli wasn’t used effectively. Golshifteh Farahani was fine in her role. David Harbour and Pankaj Tripathi are also there in small roles.
The USP of Extraction is its brutal action. You get to see Rudhraksh Jaiswal and Chris Hemsworth getting chased by Randeep Hooda and Bangladesh Police in a 12-minute single-take action sequence in which Hemsworth is seen driving a car, jumping from buildings, getting hit by a car, killing a dozen of police officers, and then driving a mini truck and lots and lots of insane stuff. So if you love the bone-crushing sound and is okay with an average story, Extraction will be a passable entertainer for you.
So if you love the bone-crushing sound and is okay with an average story, Extraction will be a passable entertainer for you.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended