By: John M Jerva
STARRING: Chris Hemsworth, David Harbour, Derek Luke, Randeep Hooda, Fay Masterson, Golshifteh Farahani, and Rudhraksh Jaiswal
DIRECTED BY: Sam Hargrave
Official Synopsis: Extraction (formerly known as Dhaka) takes place in an underworld of weapons dealers and traffickers, and follows a young boy who becomes the pawn in a war between notorious drug lords. After being trapped by kidnappers inside one of the world’s most impenetrable cities, his rescue beckons the unparalleled skill of a mercenary named Tyler Rake. But Rake is a broken man with nothing to lose, harboring a death wish that makes an already deadly mission near impossible.
THE REVIEW: Ever since I started my website nearly five years ago, one underlying theme I have always been a champion of is stunt professional and coordinators make the best action film directors because they know how to shoot action and they know what the audience wants to see it when it comes to high-octane thrills and thrilling set pieces that are unmatched in scale and scope. When you think of stunt pros who have cut their teeth in the industry only to transition into filmmaking certain names pop up at will. Names like David Leitch, Chad Stahelski, and Jesse V. Johnson are certainly on the top of the list when having this conversation and now we can add one more to name to the argument in Sam Hargrave who has worked on several MCU projects and has doubled for Chris Evans as Captain America.
Hargrave has assembled a rather inpressive resume in the stunt coordiantor field with films like Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Atomic Blonde, Wolf Warrior 2 and The Accountant. Hargrave certainly has the credentials and with his new film Extraction where he makes his directorial debut, he has sounded the trumpet as he has arrived as the new leading action maestro in a genre that is desperatley needing in that field.
Extraction, which just hit Netflix this past Friday stars Chris Hemsworth who has, of course, worked with Hargrave in the MCU as he has played Thor in multiple films and here the two have collaborated for on intense and balls out action film that has to be seen to be believed. Hemsworth is no stranger to action films and besides the Marvel films, he has also starred in the pulse pounding titles Red Dawn and 12 Strong. It is here however with this newest entry to the Netflix arsenal that he has officially cemented his status as a full fledged action hero who can be mentioned in the same breath as legends like Stallone and Schwarzenegger. I know I’m gonna take heat for that statement but Hemsworth really proves that he belongs here and pretty much does the stunt work asked of him. That right there wins the argument as to why he is just as good as those icons. Hemsworth could very well make a living off these types of films like the legends did.
Extraction definitely deserves to be seen on the big screen like so many great action films of the past but the film has found its home on the streaming service giant for all to see and boy is it ever worth the price of admission. In the film, Hemsworth plays black market merc Tyler Rake who has seen too much war and has had his fair share of bad days. Rake is a damaged soul who is one of the most dangerous human weapons alive because he has nothing to lose and has everything to risk. Think the black market military equivalent to Mel Gibson’s Martin Riggs who like Rake threw everything to the wind to get the job done. This is info that many know and use Rake for their bidding and this time he is tasked with a suicide mission to resuce the young son of a ruthless drug lord who has been kidnapped and is being held in one of the worst cities on the face of the world. To complete his mission, Rake will have to run a gauntlet of expertly trained killers as well as double crosses as there are those who don’t want to see him survive another day.
Hemsworth solidified the fact that he could do large scale action with the true life military thriller 12 Strong and here he channels his best impersonation of Rambo or Commando as he navigates his way through endless gunfights, car chases and insane hand to hand fight sequences that would make anyone working in Indonesian action cinema proud. Combine that with the fact that Hargrave knows how to execute the action and you have a perfect marriage of Director and star that delivers one hell of an action flick and I do mean “one hell of an action flick.”
Now you’re going to read other reviews of this film that will say that the plot is thin and the characters are one dimensional but with a movie like this, plot is secondary and we don’t need Out Of Africa intricate when it comes to the fine details. Here it is all about the mayhem and carnage and, holy shit, does this film deliver the goods to satisfy even the most jaded of action film buff. The film most certainly earns its R raing as the violence is amped up and the kills are satisfyingly brutal and bruising. The bad guys are extreme and Hemsworth, who is the good guy, is just as nasty if not more so and he gets the job done in some very ugly ways throughout the flick. This is a true love letter to action fans that never quits.
The supporting cast is pretty servicable as well with Rudhraksh Jaiswal making his debut as the young boy to which Rake must rescue and protect through the film. There are certain things that happen in the running time that put Rake and the boy in harm’s way and the audience is able to see why Rake would go the extra mile to make sure that he comes home alive. We also have Bollywood star Randeep Hooda as Saju who is one bad ass advesary for Rake as he is a spec ops trained bodyguard who goes toe to toe with Rake and he is a fitting advesary for our hero and they get to have one fierce and epic clash that will make fans want to rewind and watch again. For name recogintion, we get David Harbour from Stranger Things, Hellboy and the upcoming Black Widow who is in a smaller role as a mercenary ally to Rake who gets to see some action of his own to go along with the dramatic aspects to the film.
The action highlight of the movie is the much talked about 12 minute action sequence that is highly ambitious and executed with damn near perfection as it is shot in the style of the oner or one take sequence where there are no edits. This is one of the hardest types of scenes to film as there is no room for mistakes and if you do make one then you have to eventually start over from scratch. Hemsworth is in true action hero form here and he sells the scene to a “T” and clearly trained his ass off to make it look authentic on the screen. The sequence is heart pumping and adrenaline inducing in its execution and words cannot do it justice as this is one scene that you have to see visually to fully understand where I am coming from. Hargrave has gone all out for his freshamn debut and it’s going to be hard to top this one with anything that he does in the future. Check out the featurette about the scene below to properly motivate you!
With our current situation these days, Extraction is a welcome addition to the action genre as it is locked and loaded with spectacular firefights, fisticuffs and exploding helicopters that fills its running time and Hemsworth is essentially the human form of the Energizer bunny who just keeps going and going and going. The film should give audiences a much needed break from reality and with the extreme action on hand, this movie is going to be hard to top from any other upcoming projects on the horizon. Netflix has really hit the target with this one and Hemsworth cemments his overall action hero status in a film that is doubled barrel guns blazing from start to finish. It’s an action extravaganza at its finest and one that will become a true genre classic in the years to come. A lot of times, I have high expectations for a film only to be let down but here Extraction fully realizes those expectations in one bruising display of an action flick. This film is without a doubt in my top five all time now and it is a true master class in how to execute action on film.
Verdict: 5 Out of 5 Stars
An Action Cinema Master Class!
About The Author: John M Jerva is the owner and editor-in-chief of Action-Flix.com and is a DIE HARD fan of everyhting Action! From the glorious past to the thrilling future, John lives and breathes action!