‘Extraction’ review: Chris Hemsworth kicks ass in so-so action flick
Sometimes it’s refreshing when a movie is just an improper noun that delivers what it promises.
That’s “Extraction,” an ultraviolent action film in which a free-agent soldier is tasked with rescuing an Indian drug lord’s teenage son from the clutches of a rival Bangladeshi drug lord. He needs to extract the boy, Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), to cash his check. That’s it. If there was a test at the end, we’d all pass.
A twist arrives here and there, and Chris Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake gradually reveals his emotional storms during the film’s few calm moments. But it’s still fairly predictable. You don’t need Frasier Crane to tell you that an average, contented person does not become a trigger-happy mercenary willy-nilly.
The film, written by Joe Russo (who directed “Avengers: Endgame”), is at its best during visceral, wordless action sequences. The most exhilarating one lasts more than 10 minutes and appears to be all one shot, like last year’s “1917.” It includes multiple car chases through the packed Bangladesh capital city, Dhaka, explosions, a bit of parkour and a pileup of slain baddies. You will not be shocked to discover that the director of “Extraction” is a former stuntman, Sam Hargrave.
Hemsworth, in one of the rare instances that he’s allowed to be unapologetically Australian, easily handles his brutal fights and is threatening without having to try. He also tones down the macho to form a sweet bond with Jaiswal’s Ovi, who’s caught up in an underworld of which he wants no part.
What’s missing here is humor. We know from Hemsworth’s performance as Marvel’s Thor that the dude can land a punchline as well as a punch. But “Extraction” is light as a tomb. That’s because it’s yet another action movie about the international drug trade, a grossly overused plot in which everybody sucks and nobody smiles.
The modern action genre desperately needs to get over its drug addiction.
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