Pros: Excellent staging of action scenes and stunts; scenes shot without stitches with a hand-held camera; exotic locations and participation of local actors Cons: Absolutely flat plot; disgusting dialogues; the characters lack charisma; the authors’ attempts to add drama to the picture fail miserably Extraction / “Tyler Rake: Rescue Operation”
Directed by Sam Hargrave
Starring: Chris Hemsworth (Tyler Rake), Rudraksh Jaiswal (Ovi), David Harbor (Gaspar), Pankaj Tripathi (Ovi Mahajan Sr.), Priyanshu Painyuli (Amir), Randeep Hooda (Saju), Golshifteh Farahani (Nick Khan), etc. .
Studios AGBO, Thematic Entertainment, Netflix
Year of release 2020
The plot of Extraction is banal to the point of indecentness, full of logical holes and does not stand up to any criticism. The story involves the Indian and Bangladeshi mafias, the corrupt police of both countries, a detachment of mercenaries, Indian and Australian special forces, as well as the young son of one of the drug lords, whose rescue from the hands of kidnappers is carried out by several groups at once. In the end, it all comes down to the fact that the child needs to be taken out of the slums of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh (population 18.9 million inhabitants), where everyone capable of holding a weapon is hunting for the fugitive and those who help him.
It is clear that in a film with such a plot, shot by a professional stuntman (Sam Hargrave began as Chris Evans’ stunt double in Captain America: The First Avenger, and ended up working in the MCU as a stunt coordinator in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Endgame), the main thing attention is paid not to the plot (for which, by the way, the Russo brothers, directors of four MCU films, were responsible), and not to the dialogues, but to the action scenes. And they really were a great success.
Most shootouts, with precise shooting, finishing shots, reloading, selecting weapons, going into hand-to-hand combat, using improvised objects, etc. really very reminiscent of the John Wick series. But there is also an interesting specificity here. For example, during a fight between two special forces on the street, the crazy traffic of Dhaka, which lives its own life despite the fighting that is taking place on its streets, constantly interferes with what is happening.
But Hargrave was especially successful in several scenes shot with a hand-held camera without cuts. This is a chase through the city streets, during which the director literally tied himself to the hood of the car and at the right moments unhooked the harness in order to continue filming on foot, diving into the narrow streets of the slums and moving inside buildings. The director of photography in these sequences deliberately sacrifices wide shots to guide the characters, switching from one to another at the moment of contact. It looks incredibly cool, perhaps one of the most impressive scenes in action films in all of their history.
Another interesting solution is to move the focus during editing, when after a shot the camera is behind the target, showing a hit from the opposite side, or leads the object after a fall or collision.
Another very cool scene is the fight between the main character and gangster children. The big commando holds himself back while the kids really want to kill him. It was shot very cool, but the message against the exploitation of children by the mafia is poorly read, despite the fact that the authors try to emphasize this several times during the film.
In general, Sam Hargrave and the Russo brothers did not work out well with the drama. Attempts to reveal the characters’ personalities and press on the sting fail miserably. You only empathize with Chris Hemsworth’s character when he crushes the skulls of Bangladeshi policemen and gangsters, and when he tries to speak, you want to strangle him with your own hands. And the dialogue between Ovi and Tyler during a break at Gaspar’s apartment is simply the height of idiocy. A boy who has just watched a soldier brutally kill at least 50 people asks him what he was doing in Afghanistan. Seriously?
Russo and Hargrave came up with what they think is a very interesting ending, allowing everyone to interpret it at their own discretion, but also leaving a loophole for filming a sequel. It looks a little pathetic, then why was the previous “tragic” scene on the bridge, symbolizing Tyler’s kind of redemption, needed?
But for attracting Indian and Iranian actors, quite famous in their homeland, special thanks. They look very authentic here and add texture to the picture. The same Randeep Hooda, who plays the Indian special forces soldier Saju, is even more suitable for the role of the hero than Chris Hemsworth. And Priyanshu Painyuli is both repulsive and attractive as a Bangladeshi crime lord. It’s a pity that the lovely Golshift Farahani (Laura in Paterson) is criminally little in the film.
Extraction, like Netflix’s previous attempts at big-budget action films, is still bad as a film, but in terms of stunts and action sequences, it, like the recent 6 Underground / The Phantom Six, is a great movie for the evening. Still, the return of blockbusters to the big screens is still a long time coming, and we don’t have much of an alternative. Either way, this movie is worth watching if only for the 12 minute one shot chase scene, it really is that good.
Extraction is worth watching only for the action scenes, everything else here is very weak