Extraction; Dir- Sam Hargrave
Rating- //stream it once it’s free// (that’s kinda ironic considering it’s a Netflix movie)
“Extraction. Indian kid. Drug lord’s son. A rival gangster is holding this kid in Dhaka,” a character tells Chris Hemsworth in the first act, explaining the whole plot (and the title) of the movie. Clearly, subtlety is not this movie’s forte. But let’s be real, this Netflix action movie releasing during quarantine, who cares it has a nuanced story? But does it have enough bloody action to compensate for it? Yeah, it does.
There’s nothing new in the story of Extraction, we’ve seen all this countless times now. The plot beats are predictable, and the messy and convoluted script by Joe Russo doesn’t do it any help. But enough action set pieces, great performances, and surprises make sure to hold your attention for it near two hours runtime. Also, the heart to heart moments that this film tries have as breathers in between action set pieces don’t work at all. They don’t make us care for the character and needlessly stretches the runtime.
First-time director Sam Hargrave, making a switch from serving as a stunt coordinator in popular MCU movies like Avengers: Endgame, is surely trying to pull off a Chad Stahelski/David Leitch here. And though the action in Extraction is never as innovative or beautiful as in the John Wick movies, it does come close. The fight scenes are choreographed with equal attention, but they are dirtier and less smoothly executed in here. Nonetheless, it the best action in a major Netflix release to date. And yeah, everyone’s talking about the one-take shot midway through the film, and yeah, it’s worth the hype. I also need to appreciate Sam Hargrave’s effort as an action director here and his willingness to do the dirty work himself, he’s surely here to stay. The camera work in this movie is commendable as well. The shots are long and wide, so the action is clearly visible and you feel the rush. There’s a little over-usage of hand-held camera, but let’s cut the crap, nobody is complaining about that. Oh and yes, if you don’t like blood and gore… why do you even wanna watch an action movie?
What might set this movie apart from other generic action movies, are the locations and the fantastic cast. The decision to use Dhaka as a backdrop to the film has really paid off, as it adds an extra layer of tension and dynamic to the film. But the yellow filter throughout the whole movie is a little overdone though – we get it, it’s a rugged down city. Chris Hemsworth is perfectly believable as the man who can do the job, I mean the dude’s Thor for real. He keeps it simple and delivers an effective and emotional performance. Randeep Hooda is brilliant as always, and makes for a really good action star. He is the only character in the movie that gets the chance to shine other than Chris Hemsworth. Rudhraksh Jaiswal, who plays the main kid, does a fairly good job even though his performance comes through as annoying sometimes. Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani kicks ass in the little screen time she’s got and looks stunning doing it. Other big names like David Harbour, Pankaj Tripathi, Priyanshu Painyullu do the best of the little they are given.
In conclusion, extraction is not anything great but it has enough fun action to keep you entertained and if you’re a soft heart, maybe even pull some heartstrings towards the end. That’s pretty good for something you can watch for free at the comfort for home and let’s not forget it’s the only new movie to release in last two week. So, go check it out Netflix whenever you can, it’s not like you’ve something better to do sitting at home. It might just be some harmless fun, but in times like these, we could surely use some of that.