If you’re thinking of watching Netflix’s new movie, Extraction, get ready for a wild, entertaining, and ultimately meaningless ride.
Extraction stars Chris Hemsworth as an Australian mercenary hired to retrieve the son of a powerful drug lord who was kidnapped by another powerful drug lord. Much of the story takes place throughout southern Asia and appears to be filmed on location. Hemsworth’s character is the best at what he does, but he’s also a broken, saddened man who seems perfectly fine with dying.
I’m sure this is all nice to know, but none of it really matters.
This is an action movie–through and through. The action, by the way, is hypnotic. There are incredible fist fights, gun fights, knife fights, fist fights with guns, gun fights with knives–you get the idea. I also enjoyed the style of the film. It cut from scene to scene to scene very quickly, almost as though it dared you to look away. Furthermore, the action scenes looked very similar to what you might find in a top-rated video game. They were very tight, almost intimate.
Consequently, like an over-the-top video game, this is an unabashedly violent movie. It’s not gross, but there are lots of blood splatters, blood pools, and just blood in general.
Unfortunately, once you get past the frenetic action, there’s nothing substantive about Extraction. We don’t get much of a chance to care about the boy, Ovi Mahajan, nor do we really even get much opportunity to invest in Hemsworth’s character, Tyler Rake. We’re told why we should care about him, but that’s not the same as actually creating investment in a character. I’d argue that only one character actually demanded our interest, and that was in the form of a quick cameo by a Netflix superstar. I won’t name names, but it was a fun, though brief (and unnecessary), surprise.
While Hemsworth’s physicality in Extraction is mesmerizing, there’s nothing about him in this film that sets him apart from any other classic action hero. He didn’t even get a zippy catchphrase like you would expect from Arnold, Sly, or Bruce. In fact, Hemsworth barely speaks at all in Extraction. We all know that Hemsworth oozes charm, charisma, and can be quite funny. None of that was on display in Extraction.
Finally, the ending really bothered me. And when I say the ending, I’m talking about the last two seconds of the movie. What little emotional investment I developed quickly fluttered away during those last two seconds.
In the end, Extraction is a fast, entertaining action film. It won’t capture your heart or your imagination, but it will certainly thrill, and it will look good while doing it.