Chris Hemsworth’s latest Netflix film includes quite a few generic and familiar story-telling themes, but it’s an action-packed thrill ride with expertly choreographed fighting sequences and incredible camera work.
There’s no denying Chris Hemsworth’s star power at this stage of his career. Most of the credit is due to his performance as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he has had quite a few underrated performances in other movies, including Rush and Bad Times at the El Royale. After seeing the Russo Brothers (Avengers: Endgame directors) produced and Sam Hargrave (Captain America: Civil War stunt coordinator) directed Extraction, I believe this is yet another enjoyable performance turned in from Hemsworth.
When it comes to the story, I don’t think it’s one that’s very original or unique. In fact, I believe there have been numerous movies throughout history which have told the “assassin saves the child from the bad guys” story in better ways. Obviously, some are better than others and many times, there’s room for proper character development and compelling story-telling. The very good ones also have certain factors that help it stand above the rest. Is Extraction one of those? Well, it’s definitely not bad. It’s actually pretty good when it comes to this in large part because of Tyler Rake’s (Hemsworth) and Ovi Mahajan’s (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) chemistry. Although it develops fairly quickly, this kind of movie doesn’t necessarily give it time to have their relationship flesh out. Usually, I’d say that’s a bad thing, but I don’t think it counts against the movie, as a whole, here.
As far as the other characters go, the only other remotely interesting character is Saju (Randeep Hooda). Other than that, most of the other characters are pretty dispensable, which is one of the weaker points of the movie. Don’t go into the movie expecting an instant connection with any of them. But, as mentioned, the focal point of the story lies with Tyler and Ovi, and I think there’s just enough interest there to get you somewhat invested.
The reason you watch this movie is because of the action and the beautiful camera work. I expected nothing less when it comes to this. In fact, it actually surpassed my expectations because the fight choreography and direction of these action sequences are expertly made. The only other movies I can think of that even come close are the fight scenes in the John Wick series, and some of the boxing fights in Creed. Hargrave really put his expertise on full display here. With his knowledge of stunt coordination and fighting mechanics, along with the different angles and cinematography work of Newton Thomas Sigel, seeing both of their elements blend into one created a masterpiece in action cinema. I truly hope other directors take notes because I have yet to see another action movie shot this way and actually succeed.
I think there’s room for a sequel here, even though I’m not sure whether that’s in the plans or not. If I had one wish, if there is a sequel of course, maybe try to make all the characters a bit more interesting and important. Most action movies are meant for the audience to shut off their brain and simply enjoy all the excitement on the screen. But, I believe it’s important to keep the viewers invested when there’s no action going on. Many films before Extraction have done it before and have done it well. If the potential sequel is able to do that, as well as up the ante when it comes to the action, then I’m all in for it.
Extraction mostly sticks to generic tropes when conveying the familiar story. Where it does raise the bar is with the action shots and camera work. I highly recommend watching it just for that and I promise you’ll love it.
Score: B- (but action is A+)