Brought to you by Netflix, directed by Sam Hargrave, and in association with Joe and Anthony Russo, “Extraction” is a banger. You do not really come to these types of movies for high-concept, thematically-rich storytelling, but rather for the high-octane action and hard-hitting punches. And man, does this one deliver.
The stunt performances and fight choreography are stupendous. Sam Hargrave’s directorial debut showcases the immense skill that has been honed over the course of his 15-year career as a stunt coordinator, with impressive credits ranging from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to “Atomic Blonde.” There is an 11-minute-long action sequence in the middle of the film which is directed and edited to appear as a single, uninterrupted take. This scene integrates car chases through crowded city streets, brutal hand-to-hand combat on balconies and terraces, and bombastic gunplay, all conducted with meticulous precision. While the shaky cam and sudden angle shifts obviously allow for a handful of stitches and cuts noticeable to the trained cinematic eye, the transitions are still remarkably well-executed and do not make this feat any less extraordinary. For reference, I was reminded of the long-takes from Alfonso Cuarón’s “Children of Men” (2007) and Marvel’s Netflix series “Daredevil.” That is pretty high praise in my book.
Chris Hemsworth is a gem as always. His tough-guy-action-hero shell is of course the main draw in regard to his character, but there are a few moments in the film that provide an intimate glimpse into his emotional core. He remains one of the finest pure movie stars in the industry today, and proves time and time again that he is more than a one-note actor.
As an April straight-to-streaming action flick in the middle of a pandemic, “Extraction” lends some excellent entertainment and a source of sufficient escapism for those partial to Hard-R violence and insanely high production values. I would definitely recommend this picture if you find yourself with two hours to spare.
And by the way, screenwriter Joe Russo gives Hemsworth what will undoubtedly go down as the greatest line in 2020 film, by all objective and unbiased standards: “We just got attacked by the Goonies from hell.”
Might as well pack it up now for the rest of the year. That line will not be topped.