Chris Hemsworth comes gunning for Keanu Reeves’ title of the most hardcore gun-fu specialist with Extraction.
John Wick has some serious competition here as Extraction sets up an exhilarating new action standard.
Hemsworth (Men In Black: International) stars as Tyler Rake, an ex-soldier now operating as a black market mercenary. He’s recruited to rescue Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the son of an imprisoned drug lord kidnapped by a rival Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli).
What should be a routine rescue mission soon gets complicated with the arrival of a ruthless assassin (Randeep Hooda) and Amir’s control of the local army.
Outnumbered and outgunned, Tyler has to rely on his precision skills to safely escape with Ovi intact.
Extraction is adapted from Ande Parks’ graphic novel Ciudad, based off a story by Parks and The Russo Brothers (Avengers: Endgame). Joe Russo handles the screenwriting duties for the film.
Script wise, Extraction doesn’t break new ground, but Russo avoids making it feel too cliche. And there’s enough twists and surprises that it doesn’t feel very predictable.
Director Sam Hargrave, the stunt coordinator for Atomic Blonde, The Accountant, Deadpool 2 and the last two Avengers films, is probably going to be in demand for every high-profile action film now for the next few years.
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This was Hargrave’s first feature length project. Like Chad Stahelski, who was a stunt coordinator before directing the John Wick trilogy, Hargrave knows how to stage clear and cohesive action sequences.
They’re the highlight of Extraction and further elevate the action genre from the hyper edit era of the Jason Bourne films. Hemsworth delivers the necessary intensity to take them to another level.
Hargrave uses some interesting overhead and extended single-take shots that give the film a stylish and cool edge.
Hemsworth has been in several action films like 12 Strong, Blackhat and Red Dawn, but this marked the best showcase for his leading man status outside of the MCU. It’s not just tossing bad guys around like bags of flour, but the quiet moments where Hemsworth gets to show his dramatic side in the introspective scenes.
The supporting cast isn’t asked to do a lot. Painyuli makes for a solid cruel main villain. Hooda is also effective as the wildcard assassin while David Harbour (Stranger Things) has a nice cameo as one of Tyler’s old soldier pals. Golshifteh Farahani (Paterson) is very strong as Tyler’s main contact.
With some major action sequences rivaling the best moments of John Wick and The Raid, Extraction is an easy recommendation for genre fans.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: Netflix