Extraction is set in modern day India and Bangladesh. The son of India’s biggest drug lord, Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), is kidnapped by Bangladesh’s equivalent, Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli) and held to ransom in Dhaka. Mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), and his team are hired to rescue Ovi, and successfully manage to free him from his captors. It is then up to Rake to get Ovi out of the city, but more people are after the drug lord’s son than he thinks.
The movie is director Sam Hargrave’s directorial debut, and follows in the vein of other unpretentious action movies like Mad Max and John Wick. Previously, Hargrave worked as a stunt coordinator on movies like Avengers: Endgame, and his stunt expertise shines through. The action in this movie is incredible, with so much variety. There are car chases, shootouts, and one on one fights, all of which are flawless and breath-taking. The action style of the movie is very similar to that of John Wick, but less smooth and feels more grounded in reality. One sequence in the middle of the film particularly stands out, as it is made to feel like one shot for a solid 10 minutes, and in doing so makes the action feel relentless.
The performances of the cast, in terms of action, are great. Hemsworth is able to utilise all of the skills he’s built up over the years, and does a lot of the stunt work himself. His opposite number, Randeep Hooda (who plays Saju), is also excellent, with the fights between their characters being some of the best one on one scenes in recent movie history. None of the characters really have much depth, but they don’t need to for the movie to be entertaining. The bond between Rake and Ovi feels real, and there are enough quiet scenes between the two to at least flesh the characters out enough for the audience to care about what happens to them.
The setting of the movie really helps it to stand out from the crowd. Having a Western action movie set in a developing country like Bangladesh is refreshing, with the streets of Dhaka feeling alive and lived in. Too often foreign locations in action movies are Americanised, for example in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, when John (Keanu Reeves), goes to Morocco, the only people he has meaningful contact with are Sofia (Halle Berry), and Berrada (Jerome Flynn), with locals only being used as background characters. Extraction, on the other hand, uses indigenous actors in both Australia, India and Bangladesh, making the locations feel less like backdrops and more like real places.
Other than great action, this movie doesn’t offer a lot. It doesn’t try too much to explore larger themes, like the impact of organised crime on society or extreme poverty, nor does it nail the themes it does try to explore, like grief or the importance of family. The characters are likeable enough though, and Hemsworth’s charisma is able to carry the movie in the quiet moments. The quiet moments don’t last too long anyway, as the action soon starts up again.
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