Combustible Celluloid
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With: Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, David Harbour, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda, Pankaj Tripathi, Chris Jai Alex, Priyanshu Painyuli
Written by: Joe Russo
Directed by: Sam Hargrave
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence throughout, language and brief drug use
Running Time: 116
Date: 04/24/2020

Extraction (2020)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Rake Away

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Debuting on Netflix, "Extraction" is like a vintage 1980s action film, about a hero who is "the only man for the job." Chris Hemsworth takes on the role of, "Tyler Rake," that might once have been played by Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, or any of the other stars that regularly hit the gym. After a flash-forward to one of the more exciting shoot-em-up scenes to start things off, and after a character set-up sequence wherein Tyler jumps off a huge cliff, splashes into the water, and sits, cross-legged and zenlike at the lake's bottom, he is hired to retrieve the kidnapped son (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) of a Mumbai drug lord. Everything goes fine, until the first drop point is compromised, and Tyler must go on the run with the boy, evading much gunfire. Golshifteh Farahani (Paterson) co-stars as Tyler's colleague who gives him directions on his earpiece, and David Harbour appears as Tyler's old friend who briefly gives him safe haven.

The closest thing to a new Avengers movie we're going to get right now, Extraction was written by Joe Russo, who, with his brother Anthony, co-directed two Captain America movies and two Avengers movies. Making his feature directing debut here is Sam Hargrave, a stunt coordinator on many of the Marvel movies. While one might expect a great deal of frenzied shaky-cam vainly trying to capture a never-ending onslaught of bullets and screeching tires, Hargrave thankfully goes the John Wick route, with several very impressive, long-take, smooth, unpredictable, and exciting sequences. Hargrave uses the India locations with such tactile directness that we might actually feel we've been there. The story is, of course, familiar to the point of being worn thin, but on the upside, it's also comfortable. "Extraction" is an exhilarating surprise, and should be a Netflix hit this weekend.

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