Extraction - Review
Chris Hemsworth stars in Netfix's latest action-movie which will leave you gasping for breath.
APRIL 25th, 2020
Director: Sam Hargrave | Cert: 18 | Runtime: 1h 57m
an I breathe now?” That’s the first thought which ran through my mind as the credits rolled on Netflix’s latest action-packed offering, Extraction. The popular streaming service has had fluctuating success when it comes to the genre, but bringing together Marvel Extraordinaires, the Russo Brothers, and first-time director Sam Hargrave, Netflix have a solid hit on their hands.
Extraction could be deemed somewhat of a gamble for the movies leading man, Chris Hemsworth. Renowned for his portrayal of Thor, the Australian actor has managed to form a pretty concise resume outside of his role as the God of Thunder. Some projects have been hits, (Rush, Ghostbusters, Cabin in the Woods) others not so much, (MIB: International, Blackhat, The Huntsman: Winter’s War), but Extraction seems a perfect match for Hemsworth.
As Tyler Rake – a brutal mercenary, assigned to protect and ‘extract’ Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the son of a ruthless Indian drug lord – Hemsworth looks in his element. Managing to capture both the physical and emotional presence, he literally throws himself into the fray with ease. Touching on Tyler’s tragic past, Hemsworth brings an emotional gravitas, and though not fully explored, it adds a sense of humanity to a character who quickly becomes a one-man killing machine.
What Extraction does effectively is manage to navigate the perilous path of white saviour – a subject which critics pointed out once the first trailer had been released. By making Tyler look at Ovi as a basic commodity – a job – it reviews the idea that only a white man can save the situation, and answers – no. With a diverse team of mostly Indian talent, Extraction brings Priyanshu Painyuli, Jaiswal, and Shataf Figar to Western audiences proving they are as hardcore as Hemsworth, and their characters as essential as Tyler to complete the overall mission successfully.
Whilst the downtimes within Extraction are fair and few between, the action is almost constant. Director Sam Hargrave – who has risen from stunt coordinator for the Marvel movies and Charlize Theron action juggernaut Atomic Blonde – injects his talent for creating impressive, visceral, and unrelenting action sequences with unbounding success. To state that the stunt teams are the real stars of Extraction would be a gross understatement.
Featuring a twelve-minute sequence which never stops, leaving Tyler plummeting off buildings, tackling adversaries, firing bullets in every direction, and launching a truck into a fireball, leaves you literally gasping for breath. It is a stunning edit that becomes the staple shot of the movie. The camera work is exquisite, taking the audience along with Tyler as he battles relentlessly to escape, placing you into the heart of the action.
Yet as the movie gathers ground and the relationship between mercenary and commodity grows, a real affection for the characters begins to form, which is why the ending hits hard.
As the climactic battle across a traffic packed bridge concludes, we are left watching a wounded Tyler face his past trauma. In essence, the final moments begin to feel like the finale of Ridley Scott’s epic Gladiator. The hero, making a sacrifice, returning to his family. For a few moments, Chris Hemsworth becomes Russell Crowe, and it provides a perfect opportunity for Hemsworth to showcase his acting chops.
Extraction is a full-blown action movie, yet it feels different. Set against an Indian background, with a diverse cast, there is an authenticity, a believability to the story and characters. Hemsworth shines and deserves to. With constant questioning on whether Marvel actors can recreate a success outside of the billion-dollar franchise, this is the closest the Australian actor has come to achieving that goal. The stunts are exemplary, setting a bar for other movies to aspire to.
With Extraction Netflix have finally achieved the elusive success of creating an action movie which ticks all the boxes and create new ones. Here’s hoping that Hemsworth, Russo’s, Hargrave and Netflix have an appetite for more – and as the final moments of the movie show – they just might.
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