WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Extraction, now streaming on Netflix.
Extraction is a big-budget action film starring Chris Hemsworth, one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. The film’s plot is relatively straightforward: Tyler Rake, an ex-Australian soldier now turned mercenary, is hired to go into Dhaka, Bangladesh to rescue a kidnapped boy. The boy is the son of a powerful drug lord, and he was taken by a rival gangster. Rake and his team are brought in as mediators, but the plan quickly falls through. The situation is revealed to be a trap and, before long, Rake finds himself alone, without any support, fighting off an entire city while trying to keep the boy alive.
As is to be expected, Extraction is action-heavy. The film is built around explosive set pieces, and its on-location shoot makes the action feel all the more real. Given all the ingredients involved in the film, Extraction could easily be classified as a blockbuster movie — especially with Hemsworth in the lead role. But, despite all of that, it was released straight to Netflix, which is unfortunate because the movie would have greatly benefited from a theatrical release.
Extraction is a film driven by its action sequences. In fact, in the first half, the movie delivers a single-take action sequence that lasts 12 minutes, which moves from car to foot chase, before turning into a gun and fistfight through the streets of Dhaka before ending on wheels once again. And that is just one of the impressive fight sequences in the Sam Hargrave-directed movie.
These action sequences are great to enjoy in the comfort of our own homes, but they would have been far better experienced on the big screen, with the biggest image and the loudest sound available. On the small screen, these scenes were high-octane and hard-hitting. But just imagine how incredibly more visceral and exciting they then would have been in a theatrical setting. Punches would have been even harder, explosions would have been bigger and the sound of bones snapping would have been much louder.
Sure, Extraction may be worth a watch just because of its well-choreographed action scenes, but it also delivers some powerful emotional beats — moments that gain weight thanks to the brutal action on display. There’s a balance at work in the film, and a cinematic watch would have not only delivered thrilling fights, but also impactful quiet moments. Simply put, the contrast between the two would have been better served on the big screen.
Right now, all movie theaters are closed, and people can only watch movies from the comfort of our living rooms. If Extraction would have been slated for a theatrical release, it’s possible the movie would have been delayed indefinitely. For that, everyone can be thankful for Netflix, which has not only given audiences a new film to look forward but one that truly delivers when it comes to action and drama. But still, Extraction is one of the movies that would have greatly benefited from a big-screen bow. If that had been the case, it could have gotten the chance to become as big as it deserves, and maybe even start a new original film franchise featuring Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake.
Directed by Sam Hargrave and written by Joe Russo, Extraction stars Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda, Pankaj Tripathi, Derek Luke, Marc Donato and David Harbour. It is currently available on Netflix.
Chris Hemsworth's new film, Netflix's Extraction is a high-octane action film that would have been even better experienced on the big screen.