Extraction: A Review

This review was first presented on my Patreon.

Extraction is the new Chris Hemsworth action movie released on Netflix.

The summary according to Rotten Tomatoes is:

Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is a fearless black market mercenary with nothing left to lose when his 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, an already deadly mission approaches the impossible, forever altering the lives of Rake and the boy.

The action is outstanding. Hemsworth is physically believable as Rake, and the action choreography leans toward the John Wick school of extreme action. It’s done quite well and this is where the movie shines. Hemsworth has a great alter-ego in the film played by Randeep Hooda. Their two characters cut through the opposition with gritty aplomb, and when they end up opposite each other, it’s a treat.

The following is a bit of a spoiler, but doesn’t really ruin any specific plot elements—nor is the plot particularly novel or interesting—but talks about events that happen later in the movie, so you have been warned.

As amazing as the action is, I was honestly uncomfortable with the casual wholesale murder of Bangladeshi police officers. Now, the movie shows us there is corruption in the force, but not necessarily all the way through it. Certainly there is at least one high-level officer who takes orders from the baddie, but there’s no indication that the crazy number of officers mowed down by Hemsworth’s and Hooda’s characters are anything other than police trying to apprehend individuals they believe to be criminals. In fact, there are multiple instances in which a police officer could have shot and killed either of them, but instead chose to tackle or otherwise restrain them.

Were this set in New York instead of Dhaka, I strongly suspect we would have had a scene of a group of mercenaries, whose dialogue would reinforce how unrepentantly evil these people are, getting into police uniforms so that we—the audience—could root for the hero putting them all in their graves. None of that here.

I am really torn on recommending this movie. The action is topnotch, but the dehumanization of “the other” evidenced in the wholesale murder of Bangladeshi police officers honestly bothers me. I’m going to have to give this movie a 2.75 kitted-out secret squirrels out of 5. The action is great, the star power is there, but the story is pretty pedestrian and the disinterest in the humanity of the Bangladeshi police is a problem.

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