Rating – ★★★★
Netflix’ latest action flick hit the streaming site on Friday. It stars Chris Hemsworth as a hardened, black market mercenary, sent to Dhaka (Bangladesh) on an extraction mission. His job is to rescue a kid, stuck in the middle of a war that he has no involvement with, in a city ravaged by drug lords. With the dirty streets of Dhaka quickly filling with hostiles, whose sole purpose is to make sure Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) doesn’t get into the hands of his rescuers, Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) must shoot his way through a seemingly endless wave of belligerent Bengalis, to get to his extraction zone.
With the current cinema ban in full swing, and the constant sad news of postponed pictures, this gives streaming sites like Netflix the ability to shine in our hour of desperate film needs. Somewhat softening the blows of the situation we’ve found ourselves in. Extraction makes the most out of that opportunity.
Directed by filmmaking first-timer Sam Hargrave, whose credentials in the industry up until this point, primarily focuses on stunt work, you’d have your reasons for approaching this with trepidation. But his previous line of work is exactly why you should give it a shot.
This is some of the best stunt work put to a film in some time, even rivalling what we’ve seen from the John Wick franchise. The fighting sequences are crisp, clever and chaotic, but only in the best of ways. Hemsworth brutalises the Bengalis in a handful of ways and the film never suffers from its action heavy narrative.
What was to be expected, Extraction doesn’t do much to tell a new story, even the title alone gives you that feeling. You wouldn’t need to be much of a movie junkie in order to figure out where the film is headed, but I like to think there’s a few surprises throughout its narrative that keeps even the most enthusiastic of movie goers invested.
Away from his universally adored performance as the God of thunder, this may be Hemsworth’s best piece of work. Where there is a clear lack of originality not only with how the story is approached, but also a lot of the characterisations. However, Hemsworth in particular, gives depth to his merciless mercenary, that makes him feel like more than just a hot-headed hero.
Rudhraksh Jaiswal is well cast as the role of Ovi. A surprising newcomer to the industry and what a way to announce yourself. Having to share the screen with a star like Hemsworth on your first rodeo is no easy walk in the park, but Jaiswal struts side by side with the superhero seemingly with ease.
Extraction makes the most of what it does have, and that’s what I wanted to get out of it. Through its stunning set pieces and creative film work, the film exceeds beyond whatever I expected, making up for its otherwise simple concept. It’s brutal from the opening scene, and rarely loses its momentum from thereon. Not only one of the better action films to come out of Netflix, but perhaps one of their best period.