Extraction (2020) Review

Director: Sam Hargrave

Genre(s): Action, Thriller

Runtime: 116 minutes

MPAA Rating: R

IMDb Page

Extraction is a film that’s about one thing and one thing only: action. Okay, okay, it’s also about violence, but that’s close enough to action to count as one thing. I’m not sure if telling you the plot is worth doing, but here goes nothing: mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) must rescue an Indian crime lord’s son, Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), from his kidnappers in Bangladesh. That’s everything about the story you need to know.

Let’s start with what goes right, shall we? The action scenes, the movie’s raison d’être, are strong and pull little punches in the graphic violence department, even if there is that choreographed-for-the-camera feel to them (yes, I know all film action sequences are planned and choreographed, but it feels a bit more obvious than usual here). There’s a period of action in this feature that was made to look like one continuous shot and the results are pretty stupefying. The plot of the flick eventually develops into one of those follow-your-conscience stories, so that’s a plus.

Outside of the carnage, there isn’t a whole lot to praise. Chris Hemsworth doesn’t make much of an impression as the lead actor (except when it comes to the physical stuff), and the storytelling lacks that extra “oomph” needed to keep things propulsive. Some have criticized the picture for having a White-savior-style narrative, and seeing the main character savagely mow down a bunch of Bangladeshi cops and soldiers (even if they’re supposed to be “crooked” or “dirty”) just isn’t as fun as witnessing him giving gangsters the smackdown. People not interested in bloody slaughter will find nothing worth watching here.

Extraction is a serious, humorless action-thriller movie (with emphasis on the “action” part) that still has its fans. The fights are incredible from a technical point-of-view and the plot has a nice do-the-right-thing element, yet little else goes right. Films that are almost pure action can be done properly – just look at The Raid: Redemption (2011) – but this one stumbles a bit. When it comes to this sort of action picture, I think I’ll stick with Commando (1985) for now.

My rating is 6 outta 10.

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