The right decision? One which makes sense despite having the odds stacked against you. Extraction follows a hardened mercenary, Tyler Rake as he fights his way through an entire city to save a boy’s life despite no guarantee of survival or reward.
The Netflix original film is based on a graphic novel Ciudad by Ande Parks.
We are introduced to Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the 14-year-old son of India’s biggest drug lord, Ovi Mahajan Sr. (Pankaj Tripathi). One night after school, as he meets up with his friends at a club, Ovi gets kidnapped and smuggled into Bangladesh on orders of his father’s rival Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli).
Mahajan Sr. is serving time in Mumbai’s state prison and tasks his employee Saju Rav (Randeep Hooda) to ensure the boy’s safety. Initially hesitant, Rav agrees as Mahajan Sr. threatens to kill his family. He hires a black market mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) to get in and extract the boy from Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka.
Rake receives the details of the job through a fellow mercenary Nik Khan (Golshifteh Farahani) and agrees to the job because he needs the money. As Rake along with his team of experts acquire the boy, the whole city of Dhaka is put under lock-down by Asif to search for them.
Khan realises that they have been tricked into the extraction as they don’t receive payment from Mahajan Sr. for the job. She advises Rake to leave the boy and escape before things get out of hand. Meanwhile Rav himself goes to Dhaka to bring back Ovi but gets into a tussle with Rake who doesn’t trust him.
Now Rake is at crossroads where he can either escape and save his life or ensure the boy’s safety despite there being nothing in it for him.
It is refreshing to see Chris Hemsworth as a flawed human being. Even though Tyler Rake has a tough exterior, he struggles to make peace with his inner demons. Hemsworth portrays these constant battles with superb conviction. He also looks fantastic when he’s fighting, shooting and stabbing people.
Randeep Hooda is surprisingly on par with Hemsworth in terms of screen-time and performance. Saju’s allegiance is put into question initially but he loves his family too much to defy his superior’s orders. Hooda does brilliantly to bring out this caring family-man side to his character as he puts his life in danger to save someone else’s son.
Rudhraksh Jaiswal as Ovi Mahajan does not disappoint at all. He is seamless with his dialogue delivery and expressions. He compliments his co-actors in every scene he’s in and his vulnerability as a pawn in his father’s affairs demands sympathy.
The rest of the cast is in sync with the quality of the film but do not have much impact to make with limited presence of their characters. Golshifteh Farahani and Priyanshu Painyuli could have been better utilised whereas David Harbour and Pankaj Tripathi are mere cameos.
Other than the performances, Extraction is brimming with stupendous action sequences, stunning cinematography and fantastic direction. Sam Hargrave’s background as a stunt actor and coordinator shines through in his directorial debut.
Newton Thomas Sigel’s camera work is so immersive that sometimes it takes a while to realise that you’re not inside the frame. The high drone shots delve deeper into the chaos and congestion of the city which slowly falls apart as the film runs.
The one-shot sequence which includes a car chase, hand to hand combat, gun battles and explosions is a masterpiece. The R rating allows the film to be unapologetically gruesome and real with all the blood, guts and glory.
It is delightful to watch Ovi and Rake’s relationship develop. They share some of the best scenes in the film where a conversation is more important than a gun. Rake opens up about his painful past while Ovi expresses the misery of being a drug lord’s son. Saju’s emotional attachment to his family is just touched enough for the audience to care about his life.
The production design is impressive and accurate. Hollywood films set in south Asia are usually guilty of creating a fictional version of the real world where brown characters don’t quite sound real. Extraction however is an authentic cultural extravaganza.
Joe Russo’s screenplay despite being action packed and pacy is a familiar and predictable affair. Extraction is not something which hasn’t been seen before in terms of story and character development.
Along with some underutilised actors, Extraction also suffers from a lack of a worthy negative character. Considering this film was written and produced by the duo responsible for Thanos, this is a major letdown.
Amir Asif, the Bangladeshi drug lord is nothing more than the guy calling the shots and witnessing everything from a distance (with binoculars). The entirety of the film is Hemsworth and Hooda fighting each other or killing random goons who fall as quickly as they appear.
There is no background of the people working with Hemsworth as well. The specialised team of expert operatives just appears alongside him in Bangladesh. They may be an organisation of mercenaries who work together but an explanation would have been helpful.
Despite having some flaws, Extraction is the big summer action entertainer we needed. With the world under lock-down, the Netflix original film has dropped at the perfect time to entertain people stuck indoors. It is a thoroughly enjoyable affair and has the prefect amount of Adrenalin pumping action to lift your spirits up.
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