Review: Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction Is An Action Thrill Ride With Minimal Story
Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction is Netflix’s newest big-budget original movie. The streamer is giving the movie a huge push on the marketing front. My social media feed is full of special features and BTS commentaries for the movie. The hype behind Extraction is definitely warranted. As I mentioned a few months ago, Extraction sees many big-time names, on both sides of the camera, come together for an action spectacle. And on that front, Extraction does not disappoint.
Extraction Has A Simple And Familiar Premise That Works For Its Story
Images via Netflix.
Extraction is a pretty straight forward action entertainer. The movie starts with a young Indian teenager being abducted. The boy, Ovi (Rudrakhs Jaiswal), is the son of India’s biggest gangster. His bodyguard Saju (Randeep Hooda) failed to protect him and now has to get him back by any means necessary. To that end, he hires just the man for the job. Then we obviously cut to the hero of Extraction, Chris Hemsworth himself.
Hemsworth plays Tyler Rake, a former Special Forces-turned-mercenary. He’s a serious guy with a tragic past. Aren’t they all? But Tyler’s past made him develop a death wish. Something we see in the trailer for Extraction, as he steps off a cliff into a river, without hesitation, and possibly drunk. He’s the man for the job, and that’s basically it. Extraction is about Tyler having to go to the South Asian country of Bangladesh, to extract (get it?) Ovi from the bad guys. Oh, and the bad guy happens to be Bangladesh’s biggest gangster. And Tyler finds himself right in the middle of this international gangster war.
The Attention To Detail In Extraction’s Foreign Setting Is Impressive
Images via Netflix.
Extraction takes place mostly in Bangladesh, or rather, India passing as Bangladesh. Full disclosure, Bangladesh is my home country. And the city where most of the action happens, Dhaka, my hometown. From that perspective, Extraction does a great job of representing a part of the world that we haven’t seen before in mainstream Hollywood. Besides the occasional punchline in The Simpsons, that is.
The actual production of Extraction took place in India. And while I acknowledge my privilege enough not to presume to be an expert on Bangladesh’s criminal underbelly, I can’t pinpoint any errors or inauthentic issues in the set design. The actors playing local Bangladeshis do have some issues when it comes to dialect and speech. Sometimes the accents sound more like from West Bengal, which is a state in India, than the city of Dhaka. Which is understandable given that most of the actors are Indians themselves. But that attention to detail, even though not perfect, is still impressive for a Hollywood movie.
Why Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction Is Such A Big Deal
Images via Netflix.
Netflix has seen a few action blockbuster releases as part of their original film line-up in recent times. Michael Bay and Ryan Reynolds’s dizzying action thriller in 6 Underground was a big get for Netflix. But the movie’s critical reception wasn’t the best. Then there was the Mark Wahlberg and Winston Duke starring Spencer Confidential, which was somehow worse. So a lot is riding on Extraction.
But Extraction’s pedigree is much different than those films. Hemsworth is a notable action star in the industry right now, riding high on the success of the Marvel Studios films. And the movie has even more MCU juice behind it, with the directors of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame serving as producers. Both Anthony and Joe Russo produced Extraction, with Joe having written the screenplay. Extraction also has a great cast, with international appeal. Joining Hemsworth is Stranger Things’ David Harbour and some high profile Bollywood stars from India as well.
Extraction Boasts Some Great Performances
Images via Netflix.
Extraction sees Hemsworth as a dark and brooding killer. He is a mercenary taking risks with no regard for his own life. When his mission goes belly-up, he becomes even more ruthless. While the movie doesn’t give Hemsworth a lot to do, besides the insane action sequences, he does a great job with what he gets. On the other hand, some other performances stand out a lot more. Special shout out to David Harbour for taking on Hemsworth in one sequence. The breakouts of Extraction is a two-way tie between Rudraksh Jaiswal and Randeep Hooda. The young Jaiswal is great at playing scared, while never crossing the line into obnoxious. Most child actors tend to ham it up, but never Jaiswal. Most of his performance is just reacting to the onslaught of violence in front of him. And the moments where he gets to shine, are thoughtful and natural.
While, Hooda’s Saju is almost like a co-lead of Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction. The character definitely gets more of an arc than Hemsworth’s Tyler. Ovi’s father, the Indian gangster, threatens to kill Saju’s son, to force him to retrieve his own. So Saju goes against Tyler, getting beat up to hell, simply to save his own family. Saju is shown as a doting father fighting to protect his family, making his efforts later on that much more meaningful. Not to mention how he goes toe-to-toe with Hemsworth throughout the movie. It’s surprising to see a foreign actor get that much significance and screen-time in a movie headlined by a Hollywood star. I’m not complaining though, as Hooda is one of India’s finest actors, and it’s about time the world took notice.
Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction Has Action That Will Leave You In Awe
Now, let’s get to the good part. Despite Extraction’s issues with a very minimal story, it’s a lot of fun. The action is a non-stop, hyperventilating barrage of greatness. It only slows down enough for the audience to catch its breath, while it develops the story, making the next action set piece that much more riveting. Hemsworth is at his best in action that I can only describe as being John Wick-ian. Which makes sense, given that director Sam Hargrave has admitted to being a fan of the John Wick directors, Davie Leitch and Chad Stahelski. The action of Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction is jaw-dropping, while still being impactful enough not be forgotten. The stunt choreography is wonderfully executed, and the sequences are not difficult to follow. Unlike other movies where it’s just a flurry of activity that is barely discernible.
Extraction Works Wonderfully As An Enjoyable Action Movie
At the end of the day, Extraction is worth a watch. It clocks in at just under 2 hours, and the pacing moves enough to keep one engaged and interested. There’s never a dull moment, which is kind of the point of a movie like this. It’s slim on the story but boasting of great performances and even better action sequences.
Extraction is now streaming on Netflix.
What did you think about Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction? Let us know in the comments below.
Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.