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Film Review: Extraction

24 April 20 words: Chris King

Chris Hemsworth stars in a surprisingly heart-felt, technically astounding action film that will leave you mostly satisfied...

Director: Sam Hargrave
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Shivam Vichare 
Running time: 116 minutes

Extraction takes place in Mumbai as Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), a hardened mercenary with a tragic past, takes on corrupt police, an entire private army and some kids with machetes to save the life of Ovi Mahajan Jr (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the son of a mob boss.  

In storytelling terms it is nothing out of the ordinary, but where Extraction shines is in its set pieces. Every beat is perfect and a delightful change from the films we have seen Hemsworth take centre stage in before. More reminiscent of John Wick than Thor, Rake is a one man killing machine, with claustrophobic camera work and beautifully crafted stunts making this one of the most enjoyable action films in recent memory. 

The practical effects, stunt coordination and cinematography blend together perfectly and, despite being slightly let down by the amount of explosions inserted in post, the film’s set pieces are incredible to watch. Perhaps the most memorable moment of the entire film sees the camera locked on Ovi as he flees danger, with Rake taking on wave after wave of pursuers in the background. It provides a genuine sense of danger and threat to the film that is often missing in most high-octane action flicks, making the viewer feel as powerless as Ovi - and elevating Rake to an almost superhuman level. 

Extraction shows the potential of what action thrillers in the modern day can be

Despite being a fairly typical hero in the modern setting - a battered hero seeking redemption - Rake is nonetheless compelling. Ovi’s dialogue is a little on the nose as we delve into Rake’s backstory, but what Hemsworth’s performance provides is a genuinely heart-felt depiction of grief and loss amid the carnage taking place on screen. In its quieter scenes, Extraction provides some truly impactful moments, in large part thanks to the range of Hemsworth. 

The villain of this piece, Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli), is a grounded yet grotesque monster. As the head of organised crime he uses torture, intimidation and chillingly calm cruelty to get his ends. By the final act you truly despise Amir despite his surpsingly little screen time.

Extraction could have been an exceptional action film if not let down by some late plot choices. Yet it remains exceptionally enjoyable and is a hit for director Sam Hargrave’s first feature film. It is also rather refreshing to see a blockbuster filled with characters of different nationalities - Hemsworth is even allowed to keep his Australian accent - presenting a welcome step away from the American-centric blockbusters of yesteryear. 

Hemsworth is easily the best part of the film. It is clear that he enjoys getting to do some more emotional work, despite racking up a higher kill count than some wars, and he is well within his rights to. 

Extraction doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it doesn’t have to. It delivers on almost every beat and shows the potential of what action thrillers in the modern day can be by delivering a wonderfully self-contained and thoroughly enjoyable experience. 

Did you know? Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis were both once attached as leads to this project.

Extraction is now available on Netflix

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