With Theaters Closed, ‘Extraction’ Is The High-Octane Action Flick Movie Lovers Are Craving

With Theaters Closed, ‘Extraction’ Is The High-Octane Action Flick Movie Lovers Are Craving

For those fortunate enough to have good health and spirits during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, a more mundane problem remains: boredom. Cinematic thrillers are an effective remedy. “Extraction,” the new action-packed Netflix movie starring Chris Hemsworth, is one such solution.

Dropped unexpectedly by Netflix on April 24, the 80-minute thriller follows Hemsworth’s character Tyler Rake in his professional—and what quickly becomes personal—quest to save the kidnapped son of an international fugitive. 

The director, acclaimed stunt choreographer Sam Hargrave, clearly understood the more immediate shots of Hemsworth were included, the better. In an opening scene, for instance, Rake downs a bottle of beer, tosses it into the grass, and surprises a few bystanders by jumping off a cliff into a water reserve. He then sits under water while memories flash back across the screen.

The camerawork is beautiful. Clearly, the demons haunting Hemworth’s character are not. He’s a troubled man.

Rake is asked by a female colleague to undertake a dangerous and high-paying rescue mission. He’s told to quit drinking and report sober, with a few eye rolls added for dramatic effect. No one else would be dumb enough to accept the job, he remarks. 

We get it. Rake needs saving. Alas, within 24 hours (a head-scratchingly quick recovery), he shows up perfectly manicured and ready to go. The movie takes off from there and has some of the best high-speed car chase scenes for any movie, let alone one on a streaming-app budget. Hemsworth even gave Hargrave social media kudos when he posted a video on Instagram showing the death-defying risks the director captured in filming. 

Given the dearth of new movies being released, “Extraction” could easily cement itself as the blockbuster hit of the summer. If you take Netflix’s word for it, “Extraction” may already go down in the company’s record books. 

“‘Extraction’ is well on its way to becoming the biggest-ever film premiere on Netflix — with a projected 90 million households getting in on the action in the first 4 weeks,” the streamer tweeted. “Thanks to everyone who watched so far!”

The release dates for “Mulan” and “Wonder Woman 1984″ have been pushed back because of coronavirus. The latest Christopher Nolan-directed wonder, “Tenet,” is still in question for a July 17 release. If fate continues to intervene, then “Extraction” will be the film that satiates our entertainment needs, while also illustrating the depth of Hemsworth’s emotional capabilities.

Sure, he may be a Herculean—or Thor—model of looks and fitness. But in “Extraction,” Hemsworth exudes the acting chops he so rarely gets credit for displaying. One scene finds Rake lounging in a chair, surrounded by darkness with the young boy he’s trying to save, allowing Hemsworth to depict a terse, captivating emotion that only parents truly can understand.

This movie feels most like a modern-day “Man on Fire” remake, except instead of a take-no prisoners Denzel Washington, viewers see the compassionate, forlorn Hemsworth. Like most drawn out action-movie scenes, the viewer needs to suspend disbelief over Hemsworth’s repeated ability to survive perilous odds. If you’re a video game fan, “Extraction closely resembles “Uncharted,” right down to the rugged, war-time hero outfits Hemsworth wears throughout his harrowing Bangladesh excursion. 

In this film, the hero isn’t always who you expect or want, but as the full-circle ending proves, they might just be what you need. Right now, “Extractions” overpacked action and sensory overload is exactly what movie lovers are craving.

Britt McHenry is a journalist based in Washington DC. Follow her on Twitter @BrittMcHenry.
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