Extraction Review: Delivers On The Action

Extraction proves that Sam Hargrave can handle himself as a director and further cements Chris Hemsworth as an action hero, but the story doesn't go very deep.

Extraction is the new Netflix action movie starring Chris Hemsworth, who is a familiar star in our galaxy because of his famous portrayal of Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now Hemsworth is gearing up to show his action chops, sticking closer to earth this time. 

Hemsworth reunited with the Russo brothers (who directed Avengers: Endgame) for this war thriller, which is directed by Captain America stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave. Also involved are Mike LaRocca (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), and Atomic Blonde producers Eric Gitter and Peter Schwerin. Extraction is adapted from the graphic novel Ciudad by Ande Parks. 

Extraction is extensively shot in India and has a lot of top-tier actors from both Hollywood and Bollywood, including newcomer Rudhraksh Jaiswal, David Harbour, Randeep Hooda, Golshifteh Farahani, Priyanshu Painyuli, Suraj Rikame, and Pankaj Tripathi. 


Everyone should watch this movie for the sake of enjoying the action scenes, although it offers nothing more.

Previously titled Dhaka, after the capital city of Bangladesh, Extraction follows the story of Tyler Rake (Hemsworth) a fearless black market mercenary whose skills are solicited to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord. But in the murky underworld of weapons dealers and drug traffickers, the deadly mission forever alters the lives of Rake and the boy.

Different Stages Of Extraction

extraction - chris hemsworth

Sam Hargrave is making his directorial feature debut with this Netflix original, but he’s very familiar with big-budget movies and action sequences. He started as a stunt coordinator and has worked with the Russo brothers on Captain America: Winter Soldier, Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Endgame. He also served as a second unit director on Infinity War and Endgame and as a stunt double for Chris Evans for few films. 

Sam Hargrave, being a stuntman, delivers a hot package of high-octane action in this movie. The best thing about this movie will mostly be top-shelf action. Hargrave proves he has the potential to captivate with a beautiful and intense action-thriller, just like other stuntmen-turned-directors such as Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. Extraction may not reach the same heights, but it’s definitely a strong first step in Hargrave’s career.  

Joe Russo returned to screenwriting for this movie. Story-wise, Extraction is not breaking any new ground: a badass mercenary who is the finest at what he does has to extract the son of the biggest drug lord in India from the clutches of the biggest drug lord in Bangladesh. It’s a nice formulaic setup which requires a lot of violence, attracting action lovers without fail.

Extraction is Chris Hemsworth’s show. He delivers a good performance and also does action scenes on his own. He is definitely believable as professional mercenary Tyler Rake, a guy with a broken past. He is also one of the producers of this movie. His role is a serious one and didn’t showcase any humor, which is fine since comedy didn’t work out with his last movie, MIB: International. He needs to do more dramatic roles too, and his acting was up to par despite the script struggling without compelling characters. 

David Harbour’s role is not only a small one, but also a wasted one. In a few minutes, he got to do what he does best. Rudhraksh Jaiswal as Ovi is very likable and has few nice moments. He plays his role very well next to Hemsworth. Randeep Hooda’s character has great action scenes, his role as Saju means he gets to fight Hemsworth’s Tyler. His character arc is a bit confusing and unclear at the beginning, but makes more sense as the movie progresses. The movie spends time with some Indian actors, especially Randeep Hooda, and makes you root for them.

Golshifteh Farahani is an Iranian actress who has a cool role as Nik. She is the operator of the extraction team and gives them instructions. She didn’t get to do much action, but does get to take down a chopper with a rocket launcher and kill a sniper. The movie did not explain the relationship between her and Tyler properly. Priyanshu Painyuli played his role nicely as a threatening crime lord.

In the movie, they showed how the criminal lord controls the police system and the entire Dhaka city. The children living in streets work for the bad guy, and one of them (Suraj Rikame) gets to shine in a surprising way. At first, it is unclear where this character is going, but his arc ended in a surprising way. Pankaj Tripathi as Ovi Mahajan Sr., the jailed Indian crime lord, is barely in the movie.

The story is hollow and gets boring in non-action parts, so thankfully the action takes up a large part. Extraction is predictable but manages to deliver as much as it could. The character development is weak in the beginning, only picking up in the second half. The beginning of the movie is comprised of the establishment of the mission, but it lacks development for Hemsworth’s team. We get more as we go, but it is not enough to satisfy. It still surprises, though, by transforming unassuming characters into major players.

Despite having great action scenes in the first half, the movie feels dull. The second act was better, because it strengthens the bond and trust between Tyler and the kid. The fights are almost on par with John Wick movies, technically speaking, and everyone will be talking about the 12-minute “oner” in particular.

A oner is a series of long shots joined together seamlessly to form a single continuous shot. The intense oner begins with car chase and leads to a gunfight, followed by a knife fight that was very cool. Some great long shot fights are seen in John Wick, Atomic Blonde and Daredevil – and this one will be making “best of” lists too. Each oner has its own complexity, and Sam Hargrave achieved his by strapping himself to the front of chase vehicles.

The movie utilizes the R-rating very well by having intense and brutal fights, and the climax fight has a video game feel to it. It goes through different stages as if it’s a Call of Duty game. The frantic action works most of the time, but it gets exhausting by the end. The camera work is awesome and swift, however, through the entire movie. Hargrave uses all types of camera angles, from tracking shots to wide frames to long takes. He even has a small role in the movie as the sniper for Tyler’s crew.

The cinematography is excellent, and aesthetically this movie is vibrant. The background score was moderate. The story takes place in Bangladesh, but the movie was actually shot in India. They used the locations very well during the action. India has rarely been seen in a modern international action film, but Extraction proves that Hollywood should make more use of it.

In one scene there is a complete lack of attention paid to the gun and knife fights by the crowds of pedestrians nonchalantly going about their business, which was somewhat accurate to the area. Also in one scene, a vehicle just passes between Saju and Tyler while they are fighting each other, and the people have no interest in what’s happening on the street. Hemsworth’s reaction to that was very funny.

Extraction may feel like Liam Neeson’s Taken movies, but it has better action scenes. It only fails to balance said brutality with a strong narrative. With better character build-up, the emotional progress at the end may work even better. But Extraction does prove Chris Hemsworth’s chops as an action hero, which is the biggest reason to watch the film in the first place.

This is not your average Netflix action movie, and its shots are not routine. Extraction manages to deliver an entertaining movie that is heavily targeted at both Hollywood and Indian audiences, even if it’s not going change the game on a storytelling front.

Are you excited to see Chris Hemsworth doing amazing stunts? Will you watch Extraction on Netflix? If you have seen it, did you like it? Let us know in the comments below.