Movie Review: Extraction


Jabir Misbah


“প্রমাণ দাও” is probably the one line that got all the Chris fans jumping up and down listening to the deep husky Australian voice say two words in broken Bangla.

Fast-paced car-chasing, barrages of bullets with plenty of bloodsheds, enough closeup shots of Chris Hemsworth huge muscles, and one particular stunt play direction maestro Sam Hargrave have given people in Bangladesh and India a whole new package to unravel in this lockdown.

The movie sets off with the child of a drug world kingpin of India getting kidnapped by his overseas rival, another kingpin of Bangladesh. This sets forth a 116-minute long runtime of a black market for hire mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), battling through the dusty underside of the capital, Dhaka, to rescue the child. The film leaves no amount of gore unkempt, with hundreds of movie extras dying to Tyler’s superhuman like commando skills. You will see bazookas, police cars flying left and right and if you are a fan of PUBG or Call of Duty, this movie has just the right amount of head-shots, you would like to see during this lock-down.

To preview, Extraction is a production of brothers, Joe & Anthony Russo with Chris Hemsworth at the helm. The Russo brothers are famously credited for directing four of the hit screenplays of Marvel cinematic universe, Endgame and Infinity War of the Avenger series, and the two installments of Captain America. Sam Hargrave is also featured as Extraction is the first-ever movie to be directed by the stellar stunt expert. Hargrave, previously known as a stunt double for Chris, moved up in the ranks during the past few years through his work in the Avenger Series.

The screenplay is based on the book, Ciudad, written by producer Joe Russo in collaboration with Ande Parks & Fernando Leon Gonzalez. Ciudad is a Spanish word for City, which makes it understandable as the movie Extraction was initially titled, Dhaka, the city where the 2-hour long mayhem-filled rescue mission takes place. The directors, later on, felt that Extraction aligns more with the plot.

Production of the movie began in November 2018. With most of the scenes being shot in Mumbai, India. The cast went on a mini sub-continental tour, with frames from Ahmedabad, Pakistan, Ban Pong & Ratchaburi of Thailand and finally the plate shots were done in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Contrary to popular belief, most of the shots depicting Dhaka were actually a slightly re-designed Mumbai landscape.

The cast includes some prominent names of the Bollywood industry, with Randeep Hooda (Saju, Right Hand to the Indian drug lord), Priyanshu Painyuli (Amir, Kingpin of Bangladesh), the ever dazzling Iranian actress/singer, Golshifteh Farahani as Nik (lead of the mercenary team) and Netflix debutant, Rudraksh Jaiswal as Ovi Mahajan (kidnapped child). The film goes on further to include one of the more popular Stranger Things franchise actor, Jim Hopper/David Harbour as a friend/accomplice to Tyler Rake on his mission.

The parts below may contain mild spoilers, if you have not yet watched the movie, be wary in reading the following segments.

3….2….1….Action.

And that is it.

Action is all that this movie is about.

Insert Tyler Rake, a black market merciless mercenary with you guessed it, a tragic past with flashbacks. He accepts a Mission Impossible scenario rescue expedition that he himself terms as “a mythic clash of the drug gods”. The film then pushes forward to give you a relentless Tyler running through the streets of Dhaka, killing enemies as he sees, with a terrified Ovi Mahajan lagging behind. This goes on, forever.

You get scenes of fighting in construction buildings, the infamous markets called “Bazaars”, on the dusty roads of Dhaka and even on bridges. All of the action, however, is moderately complimented with multiple injuries to Tyler, to make the audience more relate to the human side of the character. At one point, it did kind of feel like Chris was channeling his leftover ‘Thor’ strength.

The movie gave very little time to character development, as most of the fun roles were left hugely under-explained. Neither of the drug-lords played an active role in the plot, nor did they add much to the story without the occasional curses and finger cutting threats. The film tried to get into the backstory of Tyler but failed miserably as the explanation felt more like a question-answer session, without any real emotions.

Cinematography wise, the movie gave off a good comeback. The shots were that of an action movie, and you could see that Sigel did put in some X-Men style charisma in the fight scenes. The colour-grading gave off the familiar Hollywood depiction of the sub-continent, dusty, and muddled with people.  The drone shots of the fight scenes in “Dhaka” will actually make you feel like this movie is a blockbuster.

The plot of the movie was very straightforward, with little to no branching out to secondary stories to help the flow of the storytelling. Given the premise of the movie, it feels like Hargrave went on to give his primary focus on stunts, rather than make the plot more engulfing to the audience. Truly, a wasted chance here to create one of the more enthralling action movies of the year.

The talk of the town in Bangladesh is how the movie failed to portray the true nature of the country. With the movie illustrating the underworld side of Dhaka, the fans felt this was an improper representation of the total scenario. Arguments are rampant on both sides, with people offering counter logic in the sense that the movie may have mixed up fiction to help progress the story better. However, a foreign movie’s portrayal of a country grossly illustrates the socio-political status of the nation in question. As such, I believe the scriptwriters could have put in more effort to depict both the serene and chaotic life of Dhaka.

Watch out for the following mistakes in the movie to give yourself a laugh:

  1. Hasina Poribohon
  2. Faluda-selling Micro Bus.

Also, police cars in Dhaka are never this adept with street racing, or at least I have not experienced this view in my years. Chris Hemsworth went up to the screen a few days back and said,

“Extraction was one of the hardest movies I have ever played in.”

This should be an indication of the stunt work of this movie, and if this is something that gets you off your chair, then this movie is full of excellent plays to fill your adrenaline drive.

Personally, the movie I believe was centered too much on the protagonist. Even so, a movie like Extraction deserves an action star such as Jason Statham to give it off the entire full no-nonsense action vibe. Chris is more of an occasionally comedic with funny and dumb remarks portrayal of a character. His no emotion looks in the movie felt forced and unfamiliar.

Netflix’s newest release Extraction could have been the action movie of the year, pleasing the crowd with chaos and international visualisations. However, the movie falls short in multiple departments to categorise itself mostly as a weekend living room R-rated entertainment film.

 

Rating (On a scale of 10)

Cinematography: 7

Plot: 5

Character Development: 5

Audio & Sound Tracks: 6

 

Full Rating: 6, Average.

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