5
May
2020
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Extraction

Extraction

When the son of India’s largest drug lord is kidnapped, black-market mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is contracted to extract him from Dhaka. However, as the operation nears its completion, it quickly turns out that they have been double-crossed and Rake must get them out by foot, fighting their way through the Bangladeshi capital.

'Extraction' is definitely decent switch-your-mind-off fare...

Netflix’s new thriller starring Chris Hemsworth is an action movie with mixed virtues. As an absorbing action movie with plenty of gunfire and high octane chase sequences, ‘Extraction’ is definitely decent switch-your-mind-off fare. The locations and the context come across as fresh and the seamless Steadicam chase sequence that dominates much the second act is a definite move-on from those seen in seminal bullet-magnets like ‘The Bourne Supremacy‘.

More visceral and grimy than the step-back and admire set pieces of the ‘John Wick‘ series, ‘Extraction’s script by Avengers’s Joe Russo would like to paint a more character-driven picture, however, the main stumbling block is the film biggest asset: Chris Hemsworth. Don’t get me wrong, I like Chris Hemsworth and anyone who caught his performance in ‘Bad Times at The El Royale‘, will know that he has bags more acting range than the hammers he’s been throwing for Marvel. However, whether it’s between his interpretation or the direction he’s received there’s an emotional disconnect to his Tyler Rake. Neither fully relatable nor flippant enough to be a movie-of-the-week, Hemsworth’s ‘Extraction’ is stuck at being a “good movie” whereas it could have been truly great. Think back to other films like ‘Atomic Blonde‘ and there’s a similar dichotomy between realism and escapist violence. Neither finding quite the right balance to totally sell its premise, both are left in the wake of Casino Royale‘s perfectly-bended cocktail of violence and empathy. 

That said, the plot twists are still decent, David Harbour appears as a welcome, albeit a little predictable presence and Rudhraksh Jaiswal as Ovi, the kidnapped son, delivers a more-than-decent performance which often outshines those billed above him. 

With a climactic set-piece which sadly doesn’t eclipse its build-up, ‘Extraction’s’ ending tries to placate both sides of the critical fence. As to whether Chris Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake stops here or reappears in a sequel, you’ll have to extract your digit, give it a go and see what you think. 

My money’s on the latter but let’s see…

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