3 out of 5 Stars
Director: Sam Hargrave
Writer: Joe Russo
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, David Harbour
Rated: R for strong bloody violence throughout, language and brief drug use
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) – Synopsis: When the son of an Indian drug lord is kidnapped by one of his rivals, Tyler Rake and his team of mercenaries are called in to rescue the boy.
Review: “Extraction” is the directorial debut of Sam Hargrave, a stunt/fight coordinator who was also the second unit director on “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.” The script was written by Joe Russo (half of the Russo Brothers directing team) and it stars Chris Hemsworth. With all the Marvel connections you might be surprised to learn that “Extraction” doesn’t feel like an MCU film at all.
“Extraction” is a violent and bleak action film set in an India populated by damaged and corrupt characters. There are no true heroes. Hemsworth’s Rake is the protagonist, but I found Randeep Hooda’s Saju to be far more interesting. Whereas most of the characters feel shallow, Saju is more than a sketch. His motivations go beyond a vague sense of self-preservation. Saju feels vital, everyone else is interchangeable or disposable.
Russo’s script does at least provide just enough story to tie together the endless rush of shootouts, car chases and fist fights. It’s as brutal as Gareth Evans’s “The Raid,” but not as visually interesting. That’s not to say that Hargrave doesn’t know how to stage an action sequence. He absolutely does. It’s just a meat-and-potatoes approach. Compare the cinematography and fight choreography of “Extinction” to something like Peter Berg’s “Mile 22” and its not hard to see that Hargrave knows what he is doing. He doesn’t rely on quick cuts and closeups to give the scenes a sense of kinetic energy. He lets the action provide the momentum.
“Extraction” is great when it comes to action, but there’s no real substance to make it more than an interesting distraction.