Extraction (2020)

by Prashant Kumar Sharma

The latest Netflix original film to arrive on the streaming service. Extraction sees Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), a black market mercenary, embark on the most deadly extraction of his career when he’s enlisted to rescue the kidnapped son (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) of an imprisoned international crime lord.

As much as their originals are hit and miss and the sheer amount of content they release being ridiculous, there is no question that Netflix allow pure filmmaker freedom without the restrictions and interference of Hollywood influence as here the film is allowed to make full use of its 18 rating and not have the burden of setting up or continuing a franchise. Though generic and cliche in its story telling, the action and stunt work are an absolute blast to witness and make this a step up from what I was expecting.

The film’s 2 hour runtime may have some filler sequences around the middle section, but the 1st and 3rd acts are fast paced and frantic, throwing you right into the situation, the film knows exactly what it wants and sets out to deliver it. The race against time and constant improvisation of the extraction itself makes for a consistently engaging watch, though the film does brush over motivations (the villain here is especially lacklustre) and character back story, with Tyler solely relying on a few flashbacks and essentially an exposition interview with the kid he is protecting, so that we get more of his story.

However what this basic premise does allow for is to be filled with brutal, well choreographed and creative action. This film delivers one of the best set pieces of this year, with a phenomenal one-take style 15 minute sequence, which goes from a car chase, to a building assault to a lorry chase, it’s absolute controlled chaos. As a fan of John Wick, The Raid etc. it was excellent to see their influence on the choreography, the camerawork never is too shaky or quick cutting meaning it is easy to follow and witness every stab, punch, kick in their bone crunching and visceral glory. The shootouts sound great and are intense, always ending in bloody results, especially the finale sequence.

It’s good seeing Hemsworth in a grittier, darker non-Thor/MIB role and he delivers here in a more somber and focused role, though also channels some of the action hero vibe of the 80/90’s that this film is going for. Jaiswal is also good here as the kid thrown into this life or death situation, he is never irritating or acts unrealistically at all (which is the case with kids in these types of films at times). Randeep Hooda has an intimidating screen presence as someone working for the kid’s father and David Harbour gives an enthusiastic performance, though his character’s section does stall the plot pacing.

Extraction is a fun watch to turn your brain off for 2 hours and was actually better than I expected. The action is bloody, visceral and frantic with some brilliant practical effects and choreography and the cast give good performances. The film does suffer from several cliches and genre traits and lack of character depth, but honestly from a purely entertainment perspective this does the job.



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