ExtractionDirection: Sam HargraveWriter: Joe RussoStaring: Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, David HarbourRelease Date: August 24, 2020 “You drown not by falling into the river, but by staying submerged in […]
Extraction Direction: Sam Hargrave Writer: Joe Russo Staring: Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, David Harbour Release Date: August 24, 2020
“You drown not by falling into the river, but by staying submerged in it.” Ovi Mahajan
Simplicity is good. That is what Extraction is. Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is a black-market mercenary with no regard for his own life. Rake is living paycheck to paycheck with no regard for the risk of a mission. His morality is physical limits are pushed to the test when he is recruited to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord.
Extraction is directed by Sam Hargrave, who is better known as the stuntman and coordinator in many a Marvel movies as well as other recent action movie heavy weights like Atomic Blonde (2017) and The Hunger Games franchise. You can tell he has a flare for what an action viewer loves because there are sequences in Extraction that act as porn for fans of the action genre. The violence transpiring across Dhaka is bloody, magnetic and wonderfully paced. Extraction doesn’t linger on the plot; there is just enough of it to frame the painting of brutality that everyone is most interested in.
Chris Hemsworth plays the lead character in his second action movie release since Avengers: Endgame (2019). He enters the movie as a drunk, risk-taker, and all-around sassy badass. He looks right as rain rising from a hangover stupor with those sunglasses and jumping off an elevated cliff into a shallow pool of water. This falling into a body of water is mirrored at the ending Extraction but shines a different light on Rake’s personality. It is on the nose in terms of pointing how the main character has grown, but again, Hargrave is here to highlight the action as the main focal point so character development and payoff needs to be only present in order to achieve the wanted result.
Rake’s first showdown of badassery comes when he rescues Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) from the original kidnappers, who were hired by the boy’s rival drug lord.
The hallway shot of Rake killing a bandit with the help of a sniper is a sign that Hargrave has a way with action and direction. Was a wonderful half-second shot, followed by the hero snapping off zip ties with grunt of his wrists. A genuinely cool shot followed by the hero acting superhuman; love all of it.
Going to take a pause here to talk about the short scene of Rake confirming that he is indeed in possession of Ovi. Having the kid say his name into a phone, turning the phone onto himself, and all this verifying of rescue us often skipped over in these types of movies. Credit to the writing team of Hargrave and Joe Russo for adding in this 30 second bit; it isn’t much in terms of importance but just adds another layer in Extraction’s ability to be different than the norm.
Now there is the massive action sequence everyone is talking about, and rightfully so! The 12-minute sequence after Rake rescues Ovi is bombastic with bullets, bodies, explosions and cars being thrown about like wrapping paper on Christmas. This is were Hargave shines; and in case you need proof, Hargrave is in for all the risk as seen on Netflix’s “camera car” footage. Hargrave likes a hands on approach and his mentality makes this sequence in Extraction stand out!
The breakneck pace of Extraction comes to a halt when David Harbour (still getting that Netflix money) enters the fray as Gaspar. Chilling in a hotel lobby, Gaspar and Rake and chatting it up with some character exposition topics till Gaspar reveals his intentions of turning over Ovi for a 10-million-dollar ransom. When Rake determines that he won’t just turn the child over, it’s a sign to the audience that his morals have shifted strictly from the money.
These sequences was like pulling on the emergency brake going downhill. This was a demarking line of how strong the first half of Extraction was to the adequacy of the final third.
In a final attempt to get Ovi to safety, Rake communicates with Saju, his main opposition to getting his target home safe. Saju was first put on the case to get Ovi back by the son’s imprisoned father to not have to pay Rake and the excavation crew. Despite coming at it in two different ways, the two come to an agreement that the safety of the kid is of upmost importance. For Rake it’s now personal, and if Saju doesn’t complete the task then his family is going to be killed.
The climax of the movie takes place on a bridge that is overpopulated with corrupt police. Extraction returns to what it does best with Rake, Saju and some friends kicking ass.
The bridge to freedom setting is a return to the start of the movie when Rake was bloodied and near death. It is hard to pull off the extreme foreshadowing well before the story even starts, but Hargrave and Russo’s script pull it off well. They add in little things at the film’s end, so it is not just rehashing the same shots and tone.
The final moments of Extraction are predictable, and that is okay. Who lives, who dies, and final moments are all built up to in an appropriate way. Hargrave has nice call backs to forgotten characters and moments. He also frames Rake up in a truly amazing shot with two massive guns while showering in his own blood and sweat.
Extraction hits all the right notes for an action movie, specially for Netflix. It reminded me of Triple Frontier (2019), which is the best pure action movie the streaming service has put out to this day.
The two biggest winners of the movie are Hemsworth and Hargrave. Hemsworth is an action star, and Hargrave has a chance to become the next Chad Stahelki and David Leitch.
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