Chris Hemsworth puts down the hammer and picks up a gun in Netflix’s impressive looking but quite bland action blockbuster….
When you start with your hero looking all bloody and facing death, then you know the journey is not going to be a good one. Using the plot vice in which the story flips back a few days, the path in which Chris Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake walks is a bruised and violent one, which does take a few missteps on the way.
With the writing talents of The Russo Brothers on the screenplay and Marvel’s very own stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave directing his feature debut, Hemsworth is in familiar and safe hands.
To be fair to Netflix, despite many of its own films not really setting the world alight, Extraction looks every bit a summer blockbuster. No expense is spared, with some delicious looking set-pieces that will have many action junkies foaming at the mouth.
Based on Joe Russo’s very own graphic novel, the heavy plot begins with a kidnapping of a young boy Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the son of an imprisoned Indian drug king. The bad guy, Amir (Priyanshu Painyuli), is all fancy suits, dazzling sunglasses who just loves to sit back and watch his deranged heavies throw young kids off tall buildings.
With an army and police force all against the young boy, Tyler is hired for a rescue mission but when a double cross occurs, both he and the young boy need to get from one destination to the other, fleeing from an endless barrage of bullets and fist fights!
Let start with the major positives. There are a couple of scenes that literally took my breath away, mostly the roof top fight that turns into a relentless car chase which as one of the most exquisite camera shots you’ll be lucky to witness in any film again this year.
The fact that we are told that its an actual shot sequence and hardly no CGI, is even more impressive and honestly it makes some of the sequences in such films like John Wick feel old hat! Its that good!
Anything else the film does after that, fails to to live up to it and there are plenty more scenes that try. Its like a relentless march to the finish line as Hemsworth channels the 80’s era when the likes of Arnie and Sly ruled the box -office with only a sly comeback to rival “I’ll be back!” missing from the mandatory hero rule book!
There will be many who will adore this film! The “impossible odds” and the non stop on screen attacks. The trouble is, the two hour running time means that once you have seen one fantastic set-piece, then you have seen them all and the plot itself begins to get quite tiresome once we enter the hour mark.
An appearance by Stranger Thing’s very own David Harbour, gives the film a much needed sit-down breather and we do get some tiny moments which tries to give an emotional weight behind the character of Tyler, but all these little gifts are soon replaced by the need for the next fist fight and loud explosion.
In a time where most are self isolating, the popularity of Hemsworth and the promise of thundering action will no doubt make Extraction a massive hit for Netflix, and while it will tick many boxes in such difficult times, those who are looking for more brains to their brawns will probably start to twiddle their thumbs, long before we reach the not so surprising finale.