Written by Avengers: Endgame’s Joe Russo and directed by Avengers: Endgame’s Sam Hargrave comes Extraction, a non-stop action thriller starring Avengers: Endgame’s Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake, a mercenary tasked with saving a young boy caught in the middle of a war between drug lords.
Gritty, fast-paced and appropriately brutal, Extraction is a brilliant action film that is absolutely incredible where it counts most. When you have a film directed by a talented stunt performer, you can count on it being filled with riveting action sequences. That is exactly the case here as Extraction is packed full of heart-pounding action sequences ranging from hand to hand and gun combat to high-speed car chases. No time is wasted before getting a taste of the brutal and chaotic action that is about to unfold, resulting in a massive body count by the end of the film.
This movie advertises itself as a hard-hitting action thriller and it really delivers. It’s a non-stop thrill ride where the plot throws Tyler Rake into countless intense action sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat. The variety of action scenes means you never feel like you’re watching rehashed fights and the incredible choreography makes it all feel gritty, grounded and real. Many of the action sequences are filmed to appear as one take, with one mesmerising continuous action scene spanning 12 minutes of the movie. This one scene is brilliantly shot and absolutely wild, you almost need to take a break to catch you breath after enduring it.
In terms of the action, this movie is flawless. There’s not a single action sequence I would change as I was more than entertained through every punch, kick and explosion. Extraction could be put up against the John Wick films in terms of stellar fight choreography and stunt work.
The focus here is undoubtedly the action, but the film doesn’t forget the importance of having a strong story. The plot is pretty straightforward from beginning to end. There are some surprises here and there but for the most part it’s running on a straight line. That’s not a bad thing though as I was still invested in the story and the characters involved. Usually I’m not a fan of films showing a scene from later on as the opening scene, but in this case I feel like it sets the tone really well.
The film doesn’t always hit in terms of the emotion, but it does really try to embed some emotional beats into the story. Some of that emotional storytelling works and draws you a little further into the story, however, the majority of it isn’t as effective and impactful as intended. The focus of the film is almost entirely on the action, so the slight story woes and emotional beats that don’t quite hit don’t impact the overall enjoyment.
This could be one of Chris Hemsworth’s most memorable roles outside of the MCU as he is fantastic in the lead role. He plays into both the brutal mercenary side of the character while also selling the more caring side of the character quite well. There’s not a lot of compelling dialogue to go off, so his performance is more of a physical one; which he excels at. Other than Hemsworth, the performances from Rudhraksh Jaiswal (Ovi), Randeep Hooda (Saju) and Golshifteh Farahani (Nik) are all good. I didn’t have any concerns as they all play the characters well. I will say that the villain, played by Priyanshu Painyuli, is very cartoonish and cliche across every scene he’s in. It’s not the fault of the actor, it’s just that the character doesn’t have any imposing qualities to him.
In the end, Extraction pleasantly surprised me, delivering a thrilling action film packed full of fast-paced action sequences with impressive fight choreography and camera work. It’s brutal and gritty and I loved almost every minute of it. The story isn’t anything special and the emotional impact is only slightly present, but you tune in for the action and there is more than enough to go around. This is definitely a must watch on Netflix.