Extraction review – hokey, high-octane action thriller

Chris Hemsworth plays a super-tough mercenary on an all-guns-blazing mission to rescue a crime lord’s kidnapped son

Sadly, this has nothing to do with dentistry. Extraction is a made-for-Netflix action thriller from veterans of the Marvel Comic Universe – screenwriter Joe Russo, stunt-specialist-turned-director Sam Hargrave and star Chris Hemsworth. It’s based on the graphic novel Ciudad (which Russo co-authored), transferring the action from the Paraguayan city of Ciudad Del Este to Dhaka in Bangladesh.

Extraction is a little bit hokey and absurd, and the very end has an exasperating cop-out – but it has to be admitted that, in terms of pure action octane, Russo and Hargrave bring the noise, and there are quite a few long-distance “sniper” scenes in which people get taken out from miles away as the bullet travels through their skulls with a resonant thoonk.

Hemsworth is the improbably named Tyler Rake, a super-tough mercenary soldier and legendary warrior, secretly sad and lonely. When the school-age son of Mumbai crime lord Ovi Mahajan (Pankaj Tripathi) is kidnapped by rival Bangladeshi mobster Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli), Tyler is hired for a staggering sum of money to go in to Dhaka – all guns blazing and combat knives stabbing – to get the kid back. Extract him, in fact. But when he does, Tyler realises that he is being double-crossed all over the shop and he finds that the only human being he quite likes is Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the terrified boy now under his protection.

So the odd quasi-father-son couple go on the run in the teeming, chaotic streets, and there is some impressive stunt work and fantastically steroidal action sequences. Golshifteh Farahani plays Tyler’s handler Nik, whose job it is to make earpiece contact with him, in the now accepted Mission: Impossible style, although there isn’t much here for her to do. A few earsplitting bangs for your buck, anyway.

Extraction is available on Netflix from 24 April.


Peter Bradshaw

The GuardianTramp

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