A Netflix thriller with Chris Hemsworth, movie formulas, suspenseful dangers, and strong emotions.
The latest Chris Hemsworth-starring action thriller “Extraction” follows the same action movie formula with the hero recovering from a tragic past while penetrating the villain’s systems. To put it bluntly, he plays a mercenary named Tyler, who is assigned to rescued the kidnapped son of India’s biggest drug lord (Pankaj Tripathi) from Dhaka, Bangladesh, only to find out the rival drug lord (Pryuanshu Painyuli) has the city on his payroll. And his tragic past involves his family, and his penetration involves him getting the boy Omi (Rudraksh Jaiswal) out of the city, while stabbing and shooting his enemies.
As an action movie, which found a spot in Netflix’s schedule, it does have a lot of high octane energy and emotional performances to make it a non-stop lark. It’s not only one of the few non-Thor Hemsworth movies to be entertaining (“Bad Times at the El Royale,” “Rush,” “The Cabin in the Woods”), but it’s also the directorial debut of stuntman Sam Hargrave (“Avengers: Infinity War,” “Avengers: Endgame”). That means we have to see impressive and risk-taking stunt work, dangerous car chases, long-shot editing, and his collaboration with producers Anthony and Joe Russo.
At this point, it’s impossible for the hero and victim to trust anyone in Bangladesh, since the villain has the city on lockdown. For instance, the boy’s father has an accomplish (Randeep Hooda), and Tyler has an American traitor (David Harbour). But of course, like most action thrillers, they’re able to turn the tables on their enemies.
As routine as the narrative gets, “Extraction” still leaves you rooting for the good guys to dodge the bad guys, and Hemsworth (also a producer) and Jaiswal both deliver some gripping performances. They’re likable and sentimental in their own respective ways, and they also provide some interesting aspects. I admire how the former meditates underwater, while remembering his past, and I enjoy how the latter doesn’t play the typical movie victim.
I consider this movie to be a guilty pleasure, and I want to make a distinction about something. I remember a friend of mine being jokingly appalled that I was dishing on “The Hunt,” and I told him it’s my job to review bad movies, too. I hated that movie for its pointless narrative and hated for America. “Extraction,” however,” manages to overcome its flaws and makes it solid entertainment.
For guilty pleasures, you’re either all in or you’re not all in. Half the time, you need to grow up and watch movies that are about something, and half the time, you need to take a break and let the movie overcharge your senses. “Extraction” is kept on a neutral pace, and kept me at the edge of my seat, even if I was watching this on my MacBook Pro.
And it’s also refreshing to find Hemsworth in a non-Thor role that actually means something, and doesn’t rely on the big ad campaign to sell his talents. He’s able to produce and act with the right intensity. If you’re in, which I am, then check this movie.
Available for Streaming on Netflix