Truth and Movies

Extraction

Review by David Jenkins @daveyjenkins

Directed by

Sam Hargrave

Starring

Chris Hemsworth Priyanshu Painyuli Rudhraksh Jaiswal

Anticipation.

Chris Hemsworth in a Joe Russo scripted action caper? I smell dollar signs.

Enjoyment.

As the twists drop, the film casually departs from any pretence towards basic logic.

In Retrospect.

You’ll be clock-watching by the final third as another anonymous baddie gets slotted.

Chris Hemsworth goes full Rambo in this slick, soulless shoot-em-up penned by Joe Russo.

Riding roughshod on the success of their various Marvel Studios superhero behemoths, Joe Russo (one half of the Russo brothers) has managed to sell on a script which feels like something he fished out of the bottom of a draw that’s very low to the ground on account of the fact that he doesn’t use it very often.

This is boilerplate shoot-em-up filler that plays like Slumdog Millionaire meets The Wild Geese, as Chris Hemsworth (resembling a mighty oak with four more mighty oaks attached as limbs) is soused mercenary Tyler Rake (sic) who, for reasons unclear, takes on a lethal mission to re-capture the kidnapped teenage son of an imprisoned Indian drug lord from his main Bangladeshi rival.

On paper, as is so often the case, this should be total cakewalk and money in the bank, as the kid is being held captive by a bunch of dentally challenged goons with few brains and fewer round of ammo. Yet when he’s just about to execute his victory line shimmy, everything goes south and Tyler has to retool and dive straight back into the viper’s nest and take on the seemingly infinite artillery power of murderous dandy Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli).

Directed with little denoting a personal touch by long-serving stunt co-ordinator Sam Hargrave, Extraction boasts as its centrepiece a digitally rendered “single take” car chase which segues into a gun battled which segues into a knife fight and then back into a car chase.

Maybe it’s the fact that every moderately budgeted action movie is now required by law to contain an empty display of formal theatrics to give the critics something to salivate over, but we’ve now reached the point where we need to march these long takes behind the back of the barn and put one in the brain.

Hemsworth coasts as the omnipotent rippling spunk who is so good at not getting killed that he drains the film of any threat or drama (see also John Wick). The strange contrast of a lengthy, whispered heart-to-heart between Tyler and his mark, Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), is a naked attempt to cover all the character stuff in one bulk session, apparently sating the slathering audience’s appetite for scads of tedious, bullet-based carnage.

Meanwhile Dhaka is made to look suitably anonymous (much of the film was shot in Thailand), and the only visual signpost that we’re in Bangladesh is that everything is shot through urine-tinged filters.

Published 22 Apr 2020

Tags: Chris Hemsworth Extraction Joe Russo Netflix Priyanshu Painyuli Sam Hargrave

Anticipation.

Chris Hemsworth in a Joe Russo scripted action caper? I smell dollar signs.

Enjoyment.

As the twists drop, the film casually departs from any pretence towards basic logic.

In Retrospect.

You’ll be clock-watching by the final third as another anonymous baddie gets slotted.

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