Yet again I let the algorithm overlords at Netflix choose my next film and that was Extraction – a full throttle action thriller set in Bangladesh. When a drug lords namesake son Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) is kidnapped by a rival crime enthusiast Amir (Priyanshu Painyuli), Australian mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is hired to rescue him. As is de rigueur things do not go smoothly as Amir throws everything, including a sea of goons, in the way to try and get Ovi back.
Rescue the child, escape to safety and kill anyone that tries to stop you, it is well worn ground and whilst the story ain’t much to write home about the action certainly is. Sam Hargrave makes his directorial debut here having previously been a stunt coordinator in Atomic Blonde and the Avengers films for the Russo brothers, with the latter two on production and writing duties. His pedigree shows as the fist fights and shootouts are brutal, and the chase scenes are breathless as they go from high rise buildings to bustling city streets without let up.
The first hour or so is like this and it is thrilling to watch, with Tyler’s tussle against some kids in a back alley and the brawl near the start where Mr Rake throws people into walls and kills someone with a rake (ha!) particularly memorable. Not to mention the carnage filled chase scene midway which snakes from buildings, rooftops, and busy streets in a restless fashion reminiscent of the aforementioned Atomic Blonde.
Alas the second half morphs into Call of Duty meets Rambo, where the body count and violence rises inexorably but your interest does not. All of this is wrapped up in a cop out of an ending which of course leaves room for a sequel. The second half stodge aside Chris Hemsworth is as charming as ever, playing the mentally and physically scarred gun for hire Tyler with a palpable physicality. His relationship with Ovi provides some emotion behind the all out war as the two reluctantly form a strong bond, but it feels undercooked and just there for texture despite the good acting of Rudhraksh Jaiswal.
Worth seeing for the exquisitely choreographed and tirelessly punishing action alone, just do not expect a story, characterisation or much else besides.