'Extraction' Review: Gritty and ruthless, it's Chris Hemsworth vs Dhaka in Netflix's slambang actionfest
It is a pity that this one's not a theatrical release. Considering the magnitude of action, the heavyweight actors and the plot, this might have been a million-dollar baby for Hargrave
This review is spoiler-free
Mercenaries are meant to be soldiers of fortune. They're lone-gun slingers who could cause enough mayhem and bring down countries. They can be dubbed avaricious among other things, but associating them with terms like "moral compass", "heart" and "conscious" come as a rarity.
Chris Hemsworth's Tyler Rake is one such product — a defiant, efficient and ruthless killing machine with a lot of heart in Sam Hargrave's bloody and gritty action thriller titled 'Extraction'.
Two hours of blood and bullets is perhaps an unjust way to sum up 'Extraction'. Categorizing it as one of those hi-octane flicks is equally unfair.
There's nothing unique about Hargrave's loud and audacious Netflix film, but it qualifies as one of those mercenary-themed films that's a lot more realistic, and a lot more believable, and undoubtedly better than most of its predecessors.
Nothing against 'Expendables', not one bit. We'd still love a cigar-smoking Arnie pick up the bazooka and blam the hell out of the baddies, but at the end of the day, they evaporate from the mind just as soon as the end credits roll.
Tyler Rake is different. He's battle-hardened, remorseful and at the same time a mission-to-mission living merc. On his lap lands a mission that has "somethings-not-right" all over it. The son (Rudraksh Jaiswal) of an imprisoned crime lord is kidnapped by one of his nemesis, Asif Amir (Priyanshu Painyuli) and is kept captive in Dhaka.
The mission is simple: Extraction. Predictability sinks in when you know it isn't as easy as it can get, but Tyler plows on, bleeding, pummeling, shooting and grenade-hurling his way through the dusty and populated narrow streets of Dhaka.
In the end, it all boils down to one question: How far are you willing it to go to complete the mission with the odds heavily stacked against you? Is it that time when life-altering decision-making mindset comes to play, or has it always been the plan?
Perhaps, this is too much thought, or maybe, it's just Tyler Rake. Despite less room to showcase the emotions, that obviously has a hard time making a mark when the audience's sight is solely on admiring Hemsworth's sculpted physique, his character attempts to convey as much as possible.
That the Russo Brothers and Mike Larocca come in as producers along with Hemsworth doesn't mean there's Mjolnir close by. What he has is an arsenal of weapons to wade his way through the Dhaka Military Police, Amir's men and just about every trigger-finger itchy villain out there are.
It's like he's just caught in the crossfire that puts the biggest drug lord in India against the biggest drug lord in Bangladesh. Randeep Hooda is one of India's bonafide action stars and serves his part well as Saju and so does David Harbour as Gaspar.
'Extraction' made waves when the trailer that spanned a good three minutes had action from the opening sequence and the fact that it was directed by a director who came from a stunt background.
So the damned, bloody action that happens in almost every frame is understandable. It is a stark contrast from the graphic novel, Ciudad by Ande Parks, but it justifies the intense action with some mind-numbing fight sequences richly complemented by Henry Jackman's score.
In a way, Extraction's best part is not about Tyler rescuing Ovi, but staying alive and battling a city while at it. He gets some support in the form of his crew, Nik (Gloshifteh Farahani) who sizzles each time she occupies screen space.
While it may have some Marvel heavyweights behind and in the film, this isn't superhero badassery. It's a tale that sees a suicide mission and the tremendous amount of will that's needed if there are plans of making it out alive.
It is a pity that this one's not a theatrical release. Considering the magnitude of action, the heavyweight actors and the plot, this might have been a million-dollar baby for Hargrave.
However, Netflix will be happy to add this to their roster that includes '6 Underground', 'Spenser Confidential' and 'Point Blank' to name a few. With the film set to debut on Friday, it's time to get some soda and popcorn out.
Our verdict: This one's for action-lovers and Hemsworth fans. 'Extraction' debuts on April 24 on Netflix.