Let me start this review by answering the question from the title – no. Extraction is a decent action movie, where the one unbroken shot elevates it above others, so it doesn’t blend in with your typical “one man against city/army/bunch of camels” type of action movies. I just wish they had spent an equal amount of time on the script as they had on that unbroken shot.
I can’t help but feel that this movie is trying so hard to be “the next” John Wick or The Raid both of which are great action movies, full of stunts, focusing on hand combat, action pieces with long takes, where the story takes a back seat and you are there to enjoy the ride. And both of these movies had a successful sequels, which established and flashed-out their worlds even more (the reason I’m mentioning this is the obvious sequel bait ending, and it looks like it worked. Heads up, the article contains spoilers for this movie).
But where those two have succeeded and Extraction didn’t, is they weren’t relying on JUST one action piece, or one great sequence. Both John Wick and The Raid have several things that make them great, they are not remembered for “one really cool scene”. Whereas this movie will be remembered for that one, I don’t mind admitting, pretty kick ass scene. According to the IMDb trivia, it lasts 11 minutes and 30 seconds and trust me, you can feel it, in the best possible way as that’s THE part of the movie that tries to convince you, “hey, I am different, you better pay attention!” But everything around that is just… ok…?
Chris Hemsworth is still as buffed as he is charismatic, so he carries this movie on his massive shoulders with no issues, but I swear they wrote his character by opening the “Cliches and Whatnot, 101 Screenwriting Tips for YOU” book and took way too much from it, as he embodies almost every single cliche imaginable. Don’t believe me? Let me checklist it for you:
- Ex-soldier of kind? ✔
- Has a dead kid? ✔
- Is the only one crazy enough for this job? ✔
- Using pills for different injuries? ✔
- Doesn’t care about whether he lives or dies as he’s got nothing to live for? ✔
- Doesn’t blink when gun is pointed and shot into his face? ✔
- Grows attached to the person he’s hired to protect? ✔
And I could probably come up with a few more, but I think you get what I am trying to say. Extraction is a tale of three parts – the beginning left me hopeful, the single-take action sequence left me pumped up and wanting/expecting more, and everything else after that left me bored.
The next paragraph or two will contain SPOILERS!
What I did appreciate (except the single-take action sequence already mentioned) is that this movie wasn’t shy from getting dirty, where the kills are convincing and fights are usually not edited to pieces, so for the most of the movie you actually know where everything/everyone is, so that was a nice surprise. Did it have to be almost 2 hours? No. Would I rate it slightly higher, if the movie had the balls to give Chris “hero death” and not this open ended, sequel biting thing that happened? Yes.
And that’s the main difference between this movie and the other two great ones mentioned before – those were not planned as sequels, they stand on their own, and they had bit more meat on the bones, and that always helps, even if your movie is branded as “mindless entertainment”. More meat is nice, it gives the viewer something more to chew on, rather than the unpleasant experience of biting into a bone really quickly, realising the meal is not as appealing as it looks like.
That’s all for this one! Did you see it? What did you think about it? Let me know!
Until next time,