Netflix Review – Extraction (2020)


We had all started to feel for Chris Hemsworth is a post-MCU/post-Thor world given that, for the majority of his films outside of all the avenging he has come up a bit short. Efforts like Blackhat, 12 Strong, The Huntsman duo and last summer’s disastrous reboot of Men In Black left him in a bit of a creative funk, slowly becoming pigeon-holed into “superman” roles or save-the-world roles akin to that of Odinson (MIB: International quite literally making stabs at his Marvel exploits).

But the actor has so much more to give and aside from his funny cameo in 2016’s Ghostbusters, he hasn’t really been allowed to stretch himself. His new film, Extraction, goes little way to help him and has something a little meatier – in more ways than one – to sink his teeth into.

Hemsworth plays Tyler Rake, former SASR operative turned black-market mercenary who is assigned to Dhaka in India to extract and return Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the son of one of India’s most infamous drug lords. Soon, a rival drug lord has the city locked down and with hundreds of corrupt armed forces and police standing in his way – as well as Saju (Randeep Hooda), Ovi’s father’s former on-staff henchmen – it seems an impossible task for anyone, but Rake isn’t anyone.Re-teaming with Joe and Anthony Russo, the hottest directors in town after the gargantuan successes of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame (not forgetting the superb Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Hemsworth finds a familiar playground in which to explore with the creatives and revels in the task at hand.

The film moves by way of such eco-political thrillers The Kingdom, Sicario, and Traffic with plenty of John Wick’s bombastic, almost uninterrupted action set-pieces and for those wanting something in the “leave your brain at the door” category, Extraction is the film for you.

Where it falls down, however, unlike some of those aforementioned is that the screenplay – written by Joe Russo – is as predictable, empty and stereotypical as you can imagine and despite its visual flourishes, almost nothing comes a surprise: not the backstory, not the backstabbing or sell-outs, not the inevitable conclusions that come from it and for the most part, you know exactly what’s around the corner.

That said, the action set-pieces are impressive and there’s a bruising, dirty feel to it that works to its advantage with Hemsworth excelling in amongst all the chaos, despite the usual cliche that his enemies seem to be unable to shoot straight (Think Cannon Films actioner mixed with video-game tropes and you’re in the right ballpark). But there’s enough crash-bang-wallop – and a super cameo from Stranger ThingsDavid Harbour – to keep you entertained and will go some way to help soothe that itch of being able to see a big, dumb, explosive action blockbuster bonanza in the cinema.

 ★★ 1/2

Action | 15 | USA, 2020 | 24th April 2020 | Netflix Originals | Dir.Sam Hargrave | Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda