Julian Reviews: ‘Extraction’ Treads Familiar Action Movie Ground

Chris Hemsworth in Extraction

Chris Hemsworth in Extraction. Photo credit: Jasin Boland/Netflix

Directed by: Sam Hargrave

Written by: Joe Russo (screenplay by), Ande Parks (based on the graphic novel Ciudad by Ande Parks, Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, with illustrations by Fernando León González

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda, Golshifteh Farahani, David Harbour

Synopsis (IMDB): Tyler Rake, a fearless black market mercenary, embarks on the most deadly extraction of his career when he’s enlisted to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord.

Julian’s Review:

Mild spoilers below

Okay, so how’s quarantine life for everyone at this point time? Still trying to wrap your brain around this situation that seems like it would exist in a sci-fi fantasy book? It’s okay because we’re all still trying to come to grips with it. As I wrote last time, I hope everything is going okay for you; hopefully there will be a vaccine soon. But for right now, let’s talk about a Netflix movie called Extraction.

It’s kind of great in a weird way that the Russo Brothers (the directors of some of your favorite Marvel movies ever made such as last year’s Avengers: Endgame) are still doing films with the Marvel actors, such as 21 Bridges a film they produced, starring Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman.

 Extraction is an action movie that can be a guilty pleasure, as well as a film that can hold you over until movie theaters reopen this summer. The film stars Thor’s Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake, a former Service Air Regiment spec ops soldier for the Australian Army-turned black market mercenary. He’s recruited into a suicide mission to rescue a kingpin’s son from another kingpin in Bangladesh by any means necessary. Interestingly enough, this movie is actually based off a 2014 graphic novel by the Russos called Ciudad.

For those who loved the way Keanu Reeves’ John Wick efficiently kills bad guys in those movies, you will love the fight scenes in Extraction, although it is more brutal and kinetic in Extraction than John Wick. Extraction also pulled from John Carpenter with a camera trick during a chase scene that leads into fighting set piece.

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Rudhraksh Jaiswal who plays Ovi Mahajan, the innocent son of an incarcerated crime lord in India who was kidnapped and held as ransom, did a good job as the emotional core while Hemsworth played the classic mercenary with a conscience trope well. Randeep Hooda plays Saju Rav, a former Para Spec Ops soldier in the Indian Army who is supposed to be Ovi’s protector as well as the henchman of Ovi Mahajan Sr. the incarcerated crime lord. He did a good job as the opposing assassin-turned ally to Tyler Rake.

Golshifteh Farahani plays Nik Khan, a fellow mercenary and Tyler’s field partner. She was good in her role as the leader of the group who are tasked with getting Ovi Jr. out of Bangladesh. And last but not least, Stranger Things and Black Widow’s David Harbour convincingly plays Gaspar, Tyler’s old pal living in Dhaka.

(R-L) Chris Hemsworth and Rudhraksh Jaiswal in Extraction. Photo credit: Jasin Boland/Netflix
(R-L) Chris Hemsworth and Rudhraksh Jaiswal in Extraction. Photo credit: Jasin Boland/Netflix

Everyone who had a hand in this movie did great, but the plot of this movie is cliché. I could potentially think of a hundred movies, television shows, and video games that has the same kind of plot or mission that dealwith rescuing a hostage out of a violent and brutal sector of the country for example: Argo (2012) which deals with the real life events regarding the CIA’s plan to manufacture a fake location scouting trip for a “movie” in order to rescue people from the U.S. Embassy in Iran during the late 1970s-1980s.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 (2011) has one mission involving the rescue of the Vice President in war-torn Germany. Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron for the PSP from the late ‘00s has one mission where you had to rescue Admiral Ackbar from the Imperials in the Spice mines of Kessel and escape the Star Destroyer. Just recently, I was re-playing Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban on the GameCube (yes, I still play GameCube games from my younger years—who wouldn’t?) where you have to protect Ron and Hermione and Sirius Black from the Dementors as they try to save Hogwarts. My point is that we have seen this type of plot over and over again in different spectrums whether it’s in a TV show, video game, movie or in a comic book like Ciudad

The violence in this movie is brutal. The violence is mostly geared towards nameless soldiers being gunned down, and in gory fashion. Think of it this way, imagine if John Wick, who was already an efficient killer, joined the Army, learning even more tactics to take with him in his job as an underworld assassin. Be mindful of how you approach these scenes, especially since one scene involves violence inflicted upon a child.

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As I have stated previously, Extraction is a clichéd guilty pleasure action movie—you know what kind of plot you’re in for. But those types of films can be enjoyable. Apparently, it was so enjoyable to viewers that a sequel is in the works. I would say that this movie can be entertaining for people who feel like they have nothing else to watch until the movie theaters are back up and running—they can just turn on Extraction to strap in and enjoy the ride!

Rating Score: 7/10

*If you want to do your part to help the worldwide effort to stop COVID-19, go to https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/ and donate towards the Salvation Army in their relief efforts. As always, wash your hands, observe social distancing practices, stay indoors, stay healthy, and stay safe.

Julian Jones is a sociology student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. When he’s not studying or watching films, he’s practicing for his next performance with the UAB Chamber Singers. Let him know what you thought of his review by leaving him a comment below!

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