• George

Extraction Review

Updated: May 1, 2020

"If you want to watch a mindless action film, then please find a better one than this."

Black market mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is sent to rescue Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the son of an international drug lord. The extraction is not all it seems though, and after Rake rescues the boy all hell breaks loose. The rakish mercenary is left to fight the drug lord who kidnapped Ovi while Ovi’s criminal father and the city's police force are all gunning for him and the child. Tyler fights to get Ovi to safety with a crazed criminal lurking behind every corner and no obvious route to safety. And not only must he fight these mercenaries but also, his past which is told through hazy flashbacks. Can he find his salvation or will he die trying?

The plot of this film is impressively complicated. Convoluted even. It is badly explained from the beginning and the plot of the second half is wafer thin. There are just a few stitches loosely knitting one action scene to another. But that is all there really is! The characters are two dimensional; Tyler is an unoriginal character with a weak origin story letting Ovi shine out as the more interesting of the two. Ovi becomes complicit in a plan to escape the life he had within his fathers’ compound in the hope of something better.

This is an action film! You are probably not here for the thought-provoking characters or the serious plots. The action that you are here for is one of the few things that this film does do well, it is crisp and brutal. There is some fantastic hand-to-hand combat, the fight scenes are on par with the big block buster movies and are only let down by the obvious CGI. This elevates the fights only comically making them unbelievable and farcical. The dizzying heights of stupidity that it reaches means it could never stand up next to a behemoth like John Wick. The blasé approach to realism is coupled with an indifferent attitude to killing children which is more than slightly unsettling when not even undressed. The infantile soldiers are uncomfortable to see, let alone witnessing them being beat up and killed for the sake of action.

If you want to watch a mindless action film, then please find a better one than this. John Wick, The Raid and Taken are three films which do what Extraction attempts but with a lot more success. They are even original and skilful which are two words that I would not use here. This film had the potential to be an awful lot better. It could have explored the exploitation of children by drug cartels or made more use of the only significant female character Nik Khan (Golshifteh Farahani). They did not even exploit the comedic beats and lines that we have seen Chris Hemsworth deliver in films like Thor Ragnarök. I would have loved to watch an action packed but original critical commentary on the drug cartel. But instead I had to watch Extraction!


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