While its story might be thin, Extraction, as a pure white-knuckle action flick, is a supremely impressive endeavor. It's an explosive, gauntlet-style journey into the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh through the eyes, ears, and (many) guns of a miserable mercenary played by Thor's Chris Hemsworth.You can add Extraction to Netflix's short list of huge action flicks that should be viewed on your biggest screen available. Though unlike Michael Bay's numbing 6 Underground, or even the cartoon-y carnage of Polar, Extraction manages to take some of the better elements of Fury Road, John Wick, Dredd, and other frantic "human target" crucibles and deliver a rough and tumble redemption story featuring a broken-inside black ops soldier tasked with rescuing a kidnapped teen. The action is the star here, no doubt, but the plot, while but a whisper, is still weighty enough to suffice.
First-time director Sam Hargrave wisely keeps it within his wheelhouse, drawing upon his years as a stuntman and fight coordinator for several MCU movies (including the ones with the best action, the Russos' Winter Soldier and Civil War, where he even doubled for Chris Evans). Extraction isn't much more than its eye-popping violence but Joe Russo's script (inspired by the graphic novel Ciudad) is sparse enough to make room for someone looking to make their stamp on the action world. Hargrave does this well, delivering a lead character who fights like he's one of the more successful super soldier serum test subjects – along with a very impressive 12-minute single-shot set piece that moves from a car chase into a foot chase into a showdown inside an apartment building.Hemsworth, as the extremely action movie-named Tyler Rake, is formidable in his fighting, shooting, and overall frenetic physicality. He's also able to move the slender story along with his pathos, giving Tyler a layer of sadness that a lesser-performer would probably glower their way through. Basically, Tyler's lost everything, including the will to live, and he finds a small spark again by helping Rudhraksh Jaiswal's Ovi, the teen son of an Indian crime boss who's been kidnapped by a rival drug lord. It's conventional, but Hemsworth and Jaiswal are able to create a believable and emotional dynamic very quickly and effectively.
Stranger Things' David Harbour appears ahead of the third act as a former friend of Tyler's, allowing for a brief break in the brutality. Again though, there's nothing truly surprising at work in Extraction. Harbour's character, and that character's fate, unfolds exactly the way you predict it will, but you forgive the trope because Harbour's good and, yes, the story does need to pause every so often.Extraction GalleryIs Extraction necessarily good or grand enough to tout the Avengers: Endgame reunion between the Russos (who produce), Hemsworth, and Hargrave? Probably not. In the very least, it's interesting, and Hargrave has crafted an honorable first entry into the realm of action cinema. Even if viewers' only takeaway from this is the long, crazy one-shot, it's a better impression than you'll get from most shoot 'em-ups.
Indian star Randeep Hooda is also on hand, as a wild card foil for Hemsworth's Tyler, giving the film an extra formidable fighter so that Tyler doesn't feel like the only Winter Solider of the bunch. Extraction is a whiz-bang example of "cliches are cliches because they work." Arguably, the best action films have the simplest spines. Using one of the world's most densely populated cities as its storyline sandbox, the film's able to create a gritty, claustrophobic feeling without having its main characters get trapped in a building or some other enclosed structure.
Extraction works because its simple, yet sufficient, story allows the film’s action to take center stage. If the stunt work were mediocre, the entire thing would be an utter waste of time. Thankfully though, Extraction boasts an exhaustingly awesome showcase of expertly choreographed fists, knives, guns, and explosions. If you enjoyed the hard-hitting showdowns between Bucky and Steve in the Captain America films, you’ll dig this flick.