Review: Extraction

Director: Sam Hargrave

Writer: Joe Russo

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda, Golshifteh Farahani, Pankaj Tripathi, and David Harbour

Plot: A mercenary is sent to save a drug lord’s kidnapped son. 

Review: Are you the kind of person that can be entertained by just one long, extended fight scene? If so, Extraction is the movie for you. If you’re looking for anything deeper or more character based, I would look elsewhere. This is an action movie if I’ve ever seen one. I swear the runtime is like 95% fighting. And, in this case, that’s both the best and worst part of this movie. 

Extraction is one of those movies that I was almost more impressed with than entertained by. It was produced by the Russos and directed by the guy in charge of a lot of their MCU stunt work. And, from the earliest days of their Marvel work, it was very clear that these guys know stunts. Luckily, this is a high quality display of those talents. The fight choreography here is super impressive. It’s brutal. It flows nicely. And, it feels very, very real. There were a couple of times where I had to look away and I’m normally pretty ok with even the most intense action sequences. Overall though, I wouldn’t put it up there with things like John Wick or The Raid. Maybe it’s a tad more realistic, but it just doesn’t seem as fun. 

The other noteworthy thing about Extraction is the directing style. Almost all of the action sequences are filmed to look like one long shot. It’s super impressive as we’re ducking in and out of buildings and jumping from high heights and getting into cars and then doing extended chase sequences. The way the camera flows through moments like this was quite impressive. It almost feels like a video game instead of a movie. I’m definitely interested in seeing what the director, Sam Hargrave does next. 

So, what’s holding Extraction back? I said I was more impressed than entertained. Why? Well, there’s really not a lot of story here. There’s like one or two wrinkles in the overall plot but that’s about it. From the point Hemsworth’s character is introduced, we just jump from one intense fight scene right into the next. It really starts to wear you out after a bit. And, it feels like there’s absolutely no emotional stakes either. They tried by having Hemsworth’s character have a tragic past, but it just feels shallow and shoehorned in. Likewise, there isn’t a single moment of levity in the whole movie, which is very strange considering it was written by Joe Russo. I know that he’s a funny guy. From the MCU to Community, he’s shown that before. I’m not saying that this should be a laugh riot, but I feel like every movie should at least make you smile once or twice. Unfortunately, I’m not sure this one ever pulled much emotion from me. 

So, like I said, if you’re looking for just a straight action movie, I would recommend Extraction. If you’re looking for almost anything else, I’d look elsewhere. Overall, I’m glad I saw it. The fight scenes were impressive as hell. However, I’m not sure how much of a mark it’s going to leave. It’s definitely a well made movie, but far from a great one. 

TL;DR: Extraction excels in super cool fight scenes and stunning camerawork, but, unfortunately, doesn’t have a whole lot else to offer. 

Score: 7/10 (Good)

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