The most important goal of a movie should be to transport the viewer into the world of the story, whether that world is realistic or impossible. With all of the darkness and uncertainty surrounding us at the moment, an escape from reality has never been more important. The new Netflix original film, Extraction, is a genuinely impressive action movie that was made with such a great amount of attention to detail. More importantly, it will make you forget that you haven’t left the house in weeks.
The story follows Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), a mercenary-for-hire battling his inner demons and constantly rolling the dice on his own life. When the son of an imprisoned crime lord is abducted by a rival drug lord, Rake is sent to Bangladesh to extract the boy from his captors and return him home. Once Rake is able to reach the boy and get him away from the rival gang, the goal of his mission becomes more dire as the city he is now in the center of becomes a labyrinth of enemies. Rake is unaware of the challenges awaiting him around every corner, but the enemies he’s about to face are also unaware of the one-man army with a death wish heading their way.
There are several key components that made this film so enjoyable. The first being its director Sam Hargrave. While this may be his feature film directorial debut, he is no stranger to massive action films with big name celebrities. As a stunt and fight coordinator, Hargrave has worked on a fair amount of the Marvel movies and even The Hunger Games films. This love of stunt and fight work is very visible in Extraction, especially during the 11-minute single-shot fight scene that seamlessly traverses vehicles and buildings. The amount of effort that goes into a regular action scene is impressive enough, but to not cut the camera and follow fast moving fighting through moving vehicles and through buildings is an achievement that deserves to be seen.
This massive scale of action and tension isn’t solely in the hands of Hargrave though. He had help in the form of The Russo Brothers, who he worked with on the last two Avengers films. While both Russo brothers are producers on the film, Joe Russo has the added job of being the writer of the film. Having two massive action films under their belts, the Russo Brothers definitely know how to beef up the scale of the projects they work on. However, working on such a large scale does have some unintended consequences as most action films can attest to. When you take a natural action star like Chris Hemsworth and give him a movie where he’s literally taking on a country’s army single handedly, the plot can sometimes take a backseat to the action. While this film really doesn’t suffer too badly from that, it does have a few moments that felt strange or unnecessary.
Speaking of Hemsworth, the film’s badass action sequences would not have been the same without him. The level of commitment to making each sequence feel brutally real that Hemsworth has throughout the film made me think of Keanu Reeves in the John Wick films. The supporting cast was also perfectly picked. Actor Randeep Hooda stands out in this film as his character plays an insane and violent game of cat-and-mouse with Tyler Rake throughout the film. Actress Golshifteh Farahani (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) has a fantastic performance as Rake’s boss/handler who is trying to navigate him through his mission. Rudhraksh Jaiswal, who played the boy that Rake is trying to save, delivers a truly memorable performance that blended well with Hemsworth.
Action movies like Extraction can be hit-or-miss with audiences. Some want their action movie to be nothing but mindless explosions and fighting and bullets flying everywhere. Others want a strong plot with well-developed characters that slowly builds to a big climax. Regardless of your preference, this film has something for everyone. It has some jaw-dropping action sequences, a strong hero with a troubled past, an interesting location with an unforgiving environment, some questionably senseless violence (you’ll know it when you see it) and enough gunfire and blood to make Rambo smile. It’s a movie that would probably be amazing to see in a theater but is still fantastic on your screen of choice. If you need a break from the news and from the urge to be anywhere but your house, Extraction might just be the distraction you need.
Extraction is now streaming on Netflix.