With a very good group of friends, I sat down to watch this via Netflix. Considering the zeitgeist at the moment and how you can’t exactly go to the cinema, I thought it would be a really intriguing experience, especially as it stars the one and only Chris Hemsworth!
It’s about a mercenary (Tyler, played by Hemsworth in quite a thorough lead performance) who has to rescue an Indian drug lord’s son from a kidnapping. I have to say there were doubts digging as to how the multi-ethnic representation might play out, because say as much as Taken’s fun, its representation of those foreign enemies felt quite stereotypical. When it comes to Extraction though, at times it feels like there may or may not be stereotyping, but Tyler builds a good rapport with the kid in question (Ovi Mahajan, who as the actor Rudhraksh Jaiswal does enough justice to. We even get to see some of his life before the plot kicks into full motion, so in that sense there’s a degree of representational balance to go around.
Indeed, once everything kicks into full motion, it doesn’t let up. The action reminds me of John Wick in that a decent portion happens in long takes, so it sort of doesn’t treat the audience like their kids where there’s excess quick cutting to make you feel stuff really is happening. My only criticisms thus are although Hemsworth’s character is written in a very archetypal way and thus serves his purpose brilliantly, you don’t identify with a lot (my friends and I joked “what’s his name again?”). Given Tyler’s leading the film, and that multi-ethnic representation can appear troubling at times, and you’ve got a fairly troubling recipe.
Extraction does justice though for what it delivers. As a Netflix action blockbuster during what might be seen as an “isolating” time, it gives you money for your subscription! My friends and I had fun, and I’m sure you will too.