June 15th, 2023
MOVIE: EXTRACTION 2
STARRING: CHRIS HEMSWORTH, GOLSHIFTEH FARAHANI, IDRIS ELBA, OLGA KURYLENKO
DIRECTED BY: SAM HARGRAVE
AMovieGuy.com’s RATING: 3 STARS (Out of 4)
To go “deep” into Extraction 2 would be a silly exercise. It’s more or less a 2-hour constant action sequence. But the one thing I would like to compare it to is WWE wrestling because this is what I like to call good trash. It’s a steel chair to the back or an elbow drop from the top rope. I don’t know if it’s all real and I don’t know if it’s all physically possible, but it sure kicks ass. Director Sam Hargrave and Chris Hemsworth are back together for their follow-up to 2020’s Extraction, which is more of the same, but only this time the main event involves trains, helicopters, explosions, and a whole lot more. What I’m getting at is that Extraction 2 is a shot of adrenaline for anyone looking for a strong dose of action.
What’s surprising about Extraction 2 is that it’s on the same level as the first one but it feels like a better vision from Hargrave and company. A compact story, where it begins where we left off, with hero Tyler Rake (Hemsworth) found in a river, holding on for his life. He’s brought to a hospital on life support, taken care of by his partner Nik Khan (Golshifteh Farahani really kicking ass), and soon brought to a cabin for recovery. Of course, staying out of the mercenary game doesn’t last long, as a Black Ops-CIA agent named Alcott (Idris Elba in a brief role) comes to him with a mission to save his wife’s sister and children. They are being held in a Georgian prison, which is being run by their vicious drug and arms dealing father Davit Radiani (Tornike Bziava). The Extraction part is getting the wife and kids out alive, through gangs of bad people, and failure is not an option.
What proceeds to happen in the opening breakout sequence is what looks like a long-running single shot, Rake slicing through prisoners, shooting down snipers, and continuing onto a runaway freight train. It’s certainly the way to begin a story, where Hargrave maneuvers the camera to always keep the action choreography going. I will however say that if John Wick: Chapter 4 is a graceful dance, with samurai blades and beautiful cinematography, then Extraction 2 is a sledgehammer smashing through a bearded man’s face. There is nothing pretty about it but that’s the point. This is not stretching the action genre but it is flexing some of that old-school muscle that we loved in the 1980s.
The second and third acts are just new sequences of action, with different locations, and different scenarios for Rake to get out of. The opening sequence is “The Royal Rumble” with only one way out. The second bit of action is a “ladder match”, with Rake and crew in a tall tower and having to fight off armored cars and missiles. The climax is the “hell in the Cell”, ripe with influences from John Woo and James Cameron, where everything in the final stage church battle comes equipped with screwdrivers for stabbing and hammers for hitting. It’s just a free for all mele and exactly what you would expect.
Extraction 2 is just solid action and we are in a year that has already given us some of the best action we’ve seen in decades. Sisu, John Wick: Chapter 4, Kandahar, and now this. I am just soaking it all up. It’s also a nice return to action form for Hemsworth who often tends to work better in original stories and with directors in their own artistic space. You can truly appreciate the transition being made from Stunt coordinators and stuntmen to the director’s chair, such as Ric Roman Waugh and Sam Hargrave. They have a genuine passion for movies like this. Extraction 2 leaves all of that passion on the screen. It’ll body slam you and give you the charge you were looking for.
EXTRACTION 2 IS PLAYING ON NETFLIX FRIDAY JUNE 16TH, 2023.
Written by: Leo Brady