Extraction 2 (2023)

When discussing action movie stars very few names can populate that list in the 21st century. The newest name that deserves a spot on the list among those still performing high volume action stunts and sequences with Tom Cruise, Jason Statham, Ryan Reynolds, and Keanu Reeves is none other than Chris Hemsworth, Thor himself. Not because of that role but for his leading role in Netflix’s Extraction and its sequel aptly titled Extraction 2. More along the lines of a John Wickthan an Ethan Hunt or James Bond, Extraction 2 and by extension Hemsworth is given the same attention that Keanu and Cruise have enjoyed in their respective franchises that boast adrenaline fueled barrages of explosions, bodies and bullets.

Returning to the role, Hemsworth plays Tyler Rake, a former Australian operative turned mercenary specializing in you guessed it, extractions – saving innocent people from harmful and dangerous situations. Cool name aside, is it just me or are all these highly trained and specialized agents required to have 2-3 syllable names? It must be written into the contracts and the list goes on and on from Bond to Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher. Beside the name, each share a connection in that all are reluctantly thrust into saving the day when all just want to retire and have a cold drink.

After the events of the first film, Tyler was last seen falling off a bridge with multiple life-threatening wounds ending up in a coma for months. Extraction 2 picks up with Tyler in the hospital in Dubai (after a summary of how he got there) being taken care of by partners and siblings Nik (Golshifteh Farahani) and Yaz (Adam Bessa). Months pass and Tyler finally wakes up, recovers just enough to retire to a small log cabin in Austria when out of nowhere, a stranger (Idris Elba) (who is the definition of nonchalant cool in the 2 scenes he’s in) shows up and offers Tyler a job to perform another extraction.

This time, Tyler is hired by his ex-wife Mia (Olga Kurylenko) to save her sister Ketevan (Tinatin Dalakishvili) and her children from their drug lord father Davit (Tornike Bziava) holding his family hostage in a Georgian prison. Little do Tyler, Nik and Yaz know but Davit has a deadlier overprotective older brother Zurab (Tornike Gogrichiani) out for blood and revenge for the death of his brother. Ketevan’s children Nina (Miriam and Marta Kovziashvili) and Sandro (Andro Japaridze) get caught in the crossfire with Sandro torn between his allegiance to his heritage and father or to his family and his mother.

This is part of Extraction 2’s more nuanced dramatic approach compared to its predecessor. The second part comes from Tyler, Mia and their tumultuous relationship and falling out. To avoid going into too much detail, Hemsworth, when the script written by Joe Russo calls for it, gets to flex his dramatic muscle. Hemsworth checks all the boxes when it comes to the physicality, looks and skill to pull off an action hero like Tyler Rake however, he nails the quieter moments when all that can be heard is a pin drop. All of the bullets and carnage is replaced with earned emotion from the minimal time the once married couple is on screen together.

Out of the 122-minute runtime, Extraction 2 features 3 massive action sequences that never overstay their welcome. The first, which part of was used for a trailer happens in the Georgian prison. Returning director-stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave puts us right in the middle of fast paced, high octane action with director of photography Greg Baldi keeping the camera steady and focused on the pile of bodies Tyler is racking up. Each sequence gets bigger than the previous that features a video game cut scene appeal. As Tyler moves, the camera moves and never once backs down from capturing the action front and center.

Bodies, explosions, and bullets fill up the screen and just like the predecessor, the execution is flawless. Strap in, because Extraction 2 boasts a thrill ride you don’t want to skip out on – Joe Russo of the Captain America and Avengers fame fully commits to the spectacle of each action sequence. Whereas the plot stays surface level, which doesn’t hurt the overall film, only peeking into more depth during the few moments in between the sequences but never fully expanding on it.

And these moments of quiet and reflection are used to let the audience take a much-needed breather. But the viewer needs the break-even more than the cast firing shells upon shells of bullets at one another. I know Tyler needs it, it’s said that just nine months ago, he was basically dead, but he still had a purpose for coming back to life. It isn’t money or chasing an addiction to violence, Tyler’s purpose is saving the helpless – It’s Tyler doing everything he can for someone who cannot defend themselves.

The action sequences alone make Extraction 2 a bloodier, bolder, more brutal and a worthy addition to the growing number of stylized fighting, steady cam and action niche genre. A globe-trotting adventure worthy of being seen on a big screen but unfortunately restricted to a streaming service and poorer sound systems overcompensating. Hemsworth fits right in among the last of a dying breed but still has more to offer beside his angered brutal stare down his enemies are on the receiving end of. Hemsworth is on his game for 122 minutes and along with the rest of the small ensemble, it’s the collective that dazzle with stunning choreography, hitting the target with every pull of the trigger.

Screenplay By: Joe Russo

Directed By: Sam Hargrave

Music By: Henry Jackman & Alex Belcher

Cinematography: Greg Baldi

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, Adam Bessa, Olga Kurylenko, Tinatin Dalakishvili, Tornike Bziava

Where to Watch: Netflix

Edited By: Alex Rodriguez & William Hoy

Release Date: June 16, 2023

Running Time: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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