Cold Efficiency: Our Review of ‘Extraction’ on Netflix

Cold Efficiency: Our Review of ‘Extraction’ on Netflix

Sometimes, things just need to blow up…

New to Netflix today, Extraction is a perfectly serviceable hyper action thriller filled with fight scenes and explosions galore which will bringing some beats that will be familiar to a lot of viewers doesn’t really bring anything new to the genre either.

Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is a fearless black market mercenary with nothing left to lose when his skills are solicited to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord. But in the murky underworld of weapons dealers and drug traffickers, an already deadly mission approaches the impossible, forever altering the lives of Rake and the boy.

Based on the graphic novel ‘Cuidad’, some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe breaks off to make Extraction which is a solid piece of loud eye popping violence that would have played brilliantly on the big screen but still works well enough for some Friday night couch time when all you want to do is turn your brain off.

Director Sam Hargrave is a career stunt coordinator/performer who steps behind the camera here for his very first feature effort.  To his credit, even at a running time of nearly two hours long, Extraction is built to go like a bat out of hell which is exactly what it does focusing on the action and the mayhem rather than any kind of plot intricacies.  It just sets it all up in the first 15 minutes and then tears through the narrative like a kid in a candy store.  That’s not a bad thing but it did get occasionally exhausting as it all really never stopped for much.  The action was well done but also borrows from movies like The Raid, The Transporter and a myriad of others as it tears through the country in completion of its goal.  You can’t help but appreciate the pure spectacle of it all but you could easily tell that there wasn’t a ton of confidence in letting the actor’s in this film try to actually make us care about them and while the script from Joe Russo certainly had its efficiencies to it, there’s no question that he may have gone a little overboard making it all a little TOO simple.  The bad guys are always a little too over the top and the heroes are just a little too stoic to make it really engaging on an emotional level.

Chris Hemsworth is his stalwart self and can obviously carry an action film with his eyes closed and you can really feel him (quite literally) throwing himself into this performance.  It’s hardly a nuanced (character wise he doesn’t have MUCH to work with) but he wasn’t afraid to make us feel the pain that his character is going through in order to get the job done.  While the likes of Golshifteh Farahani and David Harbour do show up in some supporting roles, with the backdrop of India for the action this is an obvious slant to get a huge audience behind a very recognizable and bankable action star because unless you are familiar with the cinema of India, the chances of you recognizing anyone else in this film is pretty slim.  Everyone chewed the scenery and did what this kind of story would demand of them, but they are hardly characters that you’ll remember after the credits roll.

Ultimately, Extraction is a full on piece of “smashy smashy” cinema that will keep fans happy and the subwoofer in your surround sound system thumping, but with a little extra elbow grease this movie actually could have been special had it fleshed out its leading man a little more and given us a reason to give a damn on an emotional level about any of the two hours that we just watched.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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