Coming off Avengers: Endgame the amount of pressure the Russo brothers have weighing on their shoulders to deliver the same amount of emotion is a lot to ask for. It’s like catching lighting in a bottle – something impossible to achieve. Without the watchful eye of Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, what the Russo brothers would do next would be looked at heavily under a microscope with scrutiny. Given their track record in the past the optimism is palpable for Joe and Anthony. With Extraction, though they aren’t directing, their production company AGBO paired with Joe Russo’s script and the acquisition of the film by Netflix, the film is intriguing.
After a day at school, Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) and his friends visit a club where he is kidnapped by a rival drug lord Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli). Ovi’s father has been incarcerated giving Amir the opportunity to capitalize on the drug business. Tyler (Chris Hemsworth) is a black-market mercenary is hired to rescue Ovi and bring him to the extraction point where Ovi’s father will pay Tyler for the rescue. With the rescue, Ovi’s father fails to make the payment and his most trusted advisor Saju (Randeep Hooda) kills Tyler’s team to make the rescue attempt himself.
Extraction has a lot of promise riding on it but once the film starts to move its legs after takeoff, the optimism quickly dissipates. Story wise, there is nothing of substance to write home about. It’s a basic premise that has no meat on its bones so the emotional connection is lost before anything can get started. There is no reason to get invested in any of these characters including Tyler. His backstory is razor thin and not fully developed despite the flashes into his past. Hemsworth is the only shining point in the story and it’s clear his prowess as an action star cannot be ignored.
“This? Piano. I play the piano when I’m nervous. It helps. My father hates it when I do it. He thinks of me the same way you do. More like a thing than a person.”
Given his recent success with the Thor trilogy, his strength actually comes from his comedic side. Having Hemsworth be a pure action actor is a misuse of his full potential. However, he brings the pain to anyone who stands in his way of delivering Ovi to the extraction point, even his former teammate Gasper (David Harbour). The rest of the cast is forgettable, the script and story by Joe & Anthony don’t give any development to these characters with the amount of screen time some of them have. They are purely there for Tyler to mow down in his mission.
Where Extraction finds its footing is with the high-octane brutal action. All the sequences are constructed and choreographed with pinpoint precision and are beautifully captured. The best action sequences are elevated with talented stuntmen working closely to give the impression of authenticity. Stunt Coordinator / actor turned director Sam Hargrave, who has worked with the Russo brothers on the past two Avenger’s films understands that the action is the key to this film. The John Wick series comes to mind when looking at action sequences and how they are put together. John Wick’s action is like the ballet where Extraction does its best to mimic the poetry but overuses the action to make up for a poor script. Some of the sequences in Extraction are a bit shaky but the overall use of the action is perfect for this film.
If Extraction dug a little deeper and gave more depth to its hero than maybe the John Wick comparison would hold more weight to it. Tyler has zero motivation other than money for doing what he does best. From the beginning the film’s pacing is hard to keep up with as its one action sequence after the other. The moments in between the carnage when it’s just Ovi and Tyler are special and should be cherished because it allows the audience to catch their breath. Its these moments whether in a sewer or in a warm bed that we finally get to know these characters. With the short run time, these scenes should have been expanded to allow some connection to come to fruition. Otherwise, it’s just mindless action for actions sake and no real purpose.
“My father, he kills people too. Sometimes, I would sit with him at dinner, look at him, and think, he just killed somebody else’s father that day. And I’d feel sick.”
Extraction is a missed opportunity. Where it succeeds is with its stunt coordination and action sequences and lead performance by Chris Hemsworth but comes up short everywhere else. With a weak script to barely get it off the ground, Extraction is just another weak entry as a Netflix original film. Sometimes Netflix gets it right with Roma, The Irishman, Mank & Marriage Story and sometimes we question why this was made. Extraction comes in between those two extremes. Given the state of the world with the pandemic, Extraction is a decent popcorn flick for any movie night. It’s not the worst film in Netflix’s repertoire but its certainly not the best. If I were to rate Extraction, I’d rate it a 2 out of 5.
So, tell me guys, have you seen Extraction and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.
Extraction is directed by Sam Hargrave is Rated R and has a 67% on Rotten Tomatoes. Extraction was released on April 24, 2020 and has a runtime of 1 hour and 57 minutes. Extraction can be streamed on Netflix.