Netflix review: Hemsworth, Russo brothers reunite for action-packed 'Extraction'

Fred Hawson

Posted at Apr 29 2020 05:49 AM | Updated as of Apr 29 2020 05:50 AM

Netflix review: Hemsworth, Russo brothers reunite for action-packed 'Extraction' 1
Chris Hemsworth stars in the new Netflix original 'Extraction'

Ovi Mahajan Jr. (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the son of India's biggest drug lord Ovi Mahajan Sr., was abducted and held for a substantial ransom by Bangladesh's biggest drug lord, Amir Asif (Rudhraksh Jaiswal). A black market mercenary group led by Nik Khan (Golshifteh Farahani) and her tenacious recruit, Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), embarked to rescue Ovi Jr. Meanwhile, fearing for his family's safety, the senior Ovi's right-hand man Saju (Randeep Hooda) launched his own mission to bring his master's son back.

"Extraction" was a much-awaited Netflix original movie because it reunited "Avengers" directors, the Russo brothers, and their star Chris Hemsworth. However, in this project, just like how it was with "21 Bridges" with "Black Panther" Chadwick Boseman, the Russo brothers were the producers (along with Hemsworth), and not the directors. However, unlike "Bridges," the story of "Extraction" was credited to the Russos, with the screenplay credited solely on Joe Russo, who was also one of the co-authors of graphic novel "Ciudad," from which the script was adapted. 

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Hemsworth was such a cool guy as the god Thor, and here, as a very mortal Tyler Rake, he still brought that same level of fearlessness in the face of certain death. To be honest, Tyler's stamina and skills can come across as unreal and superhuman, but being Hemsworth, he exuded that believable aura of invincibility. Tyler was also given a tender backstory to somehow ground the hero with some vulnerability, and Hemsworth showed off the heart behind his gruff bravado as only he could deliver.

Among all the action scenes in the film, the most harrowing and exciting was that seemingly seamless 10-minute frenetic car chase scene with police through narrow alleys and on foot through a residential apartment building. This would later segue into a prolonged hand-to-hand fight scene with Hooda, which ended on the busy market below. That whole painfully brutal sequence was exhilarating to watch as it must have been exhausting for cast and crew to execute and shoot. There were also some graphically violent scenes involving teenage boys which were difficult to watch. 

"Extraction" will find it difficult to escape comments that it perpetuates the "white savior" trope. For some reason, there just had to be this Caucasian character in order for Ovi Jr. to have been rescued. 

However, going beyond that, "Extraction" had all the thrills and spills adrenaline-junkies crave for in an action film. Having rather one-dimensional characters, it hovered precariously near B-flick territory, only taken up a notch by Hemsworth's star power and stunt-coordinator Sam Hargrave's instinctive direction for action.

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."