Extraction (18)

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Director: Sam Hargrave

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda, Priyanshu Painyuli, Golshifteh Farahani and David Harbour

Run time: 1h 56m

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

After cutting his teeth directing the second unit on action blockbusters such as Avengers: Infinity War, AtomicBlonde, and The Accountant, Sam Hargrave’s first effort as director explodes onto Netflix in a barrage of bullets, blood and bodies.

Extraction sees rival drug lords from India and Bangladesh face off against each other in a way that just isn’t cricket. When 14yo Ovi Jnr (Jaiswal) is kidnapped by Amir Asif (Painyuli), his father, Ovi Snr, doesn’t take it too well. He hires jaded mercenary Tyler Rake (Hemsworth) and his team to rescue the boy and bring him home. Tyler’s battling his own demons and seems hell-bent on taking unnecessary risks as he duly accepts what is perhaps mission impossible.

As the job progresses, events don’t go according to their plan and rapidly spiral out of control. Tensions rise, as does the body count, forcing Tyler to improvise as he desperately attempts to finish his objective. Treachery and deceit force reluctant alliances and the race to save Ovi produces devastating consequences. 

Sam Hargrave has crafted a quite remarkable debut feature film. The hustle and bustle of grimy Asian street markets are vividly brought to life. Several long takes impress including a frenetic car chase and the many fight scenes are expertly choreographed with the camera gracefully weaving between the actors, providing a quite immersive experience. And it’s brutal. Delightfully so. Action thrillers don’t get much better than this. If you enjoyed the John Wick series, then this is a one you will not want to miss. It’s unashamedly full of high-octane, testosterone fuelled crash-boom-bang action. 

As exciting as the set-pieces are, there’s still time for character development, something too often found lacking in this genre. Hemsworth brings a depth of humanity not seen in his recent performances. His commanding presence and natural charisma are of course present, but his mental journey is as exhausting as the physical one. As he skilfully double-tap-dances his way through numerous victims, we see glimpses of the broken man beneath the superhero-esque exterior.

Not to be outdone is Randeep Hooda as Saju, another former Special-Ops soldier with his own agenda for resucing Ovi. He more than holds his own against Hemsworth and is the perfect foil. Priyanshu Painyuli exudes menace in an understated and measured performance and bringing an endearing, naive charm is newcomer Rudhraksh Jaiswal. His wide-eyed innocence and dismay at his family situation steadily chink away at Tyler’s armour and their unlikely friendship is surprisingly moving. Acting beyond his experience, Jaiswal looks quite at home despite his daunting surroundings.

Although predictable in places and featuring set-pieces that stretch the realms of believability, Extraction is a dirty, exciting and extremely well made movie. Perfectly cast and layered with emotional investment, it’s an explosive introduction by Sam Hargrave and a stunning showcase for Chris Hemsworth.

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Extraction is available to stream on Netflix from Friday 24th April.

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