Being a well-known/successful brand is often a double-edged sword. It commands a premium price in the market, but it is also subjected to a higher expectation from the public. The same notion is valid even in the field of entertainment. If a movie is released by a well-known studio, filmmaker or an actor, there is a standard that it is expected to meet. Thus, when Chris Hemsworth reunited with his Avengers Endgame producer / co-director Joe Russo and partnered with Netflix to release Extraction on April 24th, there was a certain expectation from this film & I think it’s fair to say that it fell short.
Extraction is an action-drama set in Bangladesh in which Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), who plays the role of a courageous mercenary, is hired for a perilous extraction in which he has to rescue the kidnapped son of Ovi Mahajan Sr (Pankaj Tripathi), an international criminal. Things start to take a wrong turn for Rake when there is a glitch in the plan and he is left stranded with Ovi Mahajan Jr (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) after rescuing him from the kidnappers. What follows is a 60-minute non-stop action drama following Rake’s journey to rescue Mahajan with the help of Saju (Randeep Hooda).
Be it Billy Lee in ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ or Captain Mitch Nelson in ‘12 Strong’, Chris Hemsworth is one of the few actors who has been able to continuously deliver notable performances outside of Marvel Studios. His performance in Extraction is one of those notable instances. Hemsworth is also supported well by Jaiswal who, despite being only 3 films old, looks completely in his element while sharing the screen with the mighty Thor. Hooda also delivers a convincing performance as an alibi of Tripathi and risks his life for the safety of Mahajan. For all Stranger Things fans, you also see a nice little cameo by David Harbour as Gaspar.
Extraction is the testimony of Hemsworth’s effort to keep growing as a filmmaker as this feature marks his debut as a producer in films. Speaking of debut, Extraction is also the directorial debut of Sam Hargrave, who is known for his stunts in Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, and many other action movies. One could see Hargave’s signature all over this movie with dangerous, yet immaculately performed stunts – especially in one action sequence that goes on for 11 minutes in which Rake is trying to save Mahajan from the cops and Saju. Hargrave mentioned in his interview that it took him 5 months to create that scene and 10 days to shoot it. Hargrave also clarified that although it looks like a one-take scene to the naked eye, it is actually a compilation of many scenes digitally plastered together
Although the acting, cinematography, production design and stunts are good in this movie, the script doesn’t do justice. There are several sub-plots in the movie that are left undiscovered and even the ending demands a little more clarification. Because of its starcast and the current ‘stay-at-home’ order, this movie will garner more eyeballs than it would have otherwise. But if you are busy pursuing a hobby or have limited disposable time for watching content, you can give this movie a pass.
Reviewed by Puneet Ruparel