‘Extraction’ Movie Review: Watch This Action-Packed Chris Hemsworth On Netflix Now
With movie theaters closed, Netflix movie premieres are more vital than ever. Chris Hemsworth starring in Extraction would have made it notable under normal circumstances anyway. He joins the likes of Will Smith, Brad Pitt, Mark Wahlberg and Adam Sandler bringing their brands to streaming with varying degrees of success.
Hemsworth is still looking for a hit outside of Thor and Extraction is the sort of action vehicle that utilizes his physicality well. The plot is simple and added backstory scenes feel desperate to elevate it beyond a solid genre piece. Extraction should be happy to be that solid genre piece.
Chris Hemsworth’s ‘Extraction’ is not vanilla!
When Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli) kidnaps young Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), his parents hire Tyler Rake (Hemsworth) to get him back. Rake is part of an elite team of mercenaries who travel to India to make the extraction.
The bulk of the movie is the propulsive chase through the streets of India. Rake has to, first, secure Ovi and then keep him safe from the myriad of attackers who would like to deliver Ovi back to Asif. The action is intense, and pure of motivation. If only the characters would stop talking about themselves.
‘Extraction’ is Chris Hemsworth’s ‘Taken’
The pace of Extraction is relentless through the streets of India. When Rake gets into close quarters, he incorporates the environment in his attacks but in a more brutal way than Jackie Chan. This is not a comedy so he only finds the deadliest objects lying around. There’s only one right in that style though. Each sequence is different.
Once Ovi is involved, the fights have layers and flow between Tyler and Ovi. Whichever character moves to the foreground, the other fight remains just as detailed going on in the background. The camera follows Tyler and Ovi from rooftops to back alleys gracefully. It’s handheld but not as frenetic as what it’s capturing on screen.
A car chase ensues with the camera nestled in the backseat, much like a similar car chase in The Rhythm Section although they filmed that from the passenger seat, so this is totally different!
No matter how insurmountable the opponents, Tyler has a play. Followed by a helicopter? Create a cloud cover of black smoke. Asif enlists children so when they attack, Rake has to find a way to take them down without killing them. And they are trying to kill him but he doesn’t hold that against them.
You don’t need to know where Tyler Rake is coming from
Extraction slows down when Rake and Ovi find shelter. Sure, the relentless action needs some moments to catch one’s breath, but the film uses the opportunity for Rake to reveal his emotional backstory. It’s not nearly as gripping or original as the action.
For some reason, writer Joe Russo – adapting a comic book he cowrote – thinks Tyler Rake isn’t cool enough just from what we see him do. He thinks we need to know what’s haunting him. It shows not only a lack of faith in Hemsworth to convey his character physically, but lack of faith in the audience to identify with him. Honestly, adding a cliche backstory makes Rake less cool.
So Extraction is one of those genre movies with incredible action but standard characters in a standard plot. That’s fine. Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme made a lot of those and they were fun too. Although, Seagal’s persona was part of his draw and Van Damme didn’t let his characters get in the way of his splits and kicks, so Extraction is not even Hemsworth’s Seagal/Van Damme phase.