Chris Hemsworth kills a lot more than time in Netflix’s ‘Extraction’


Far more interested in stunts than story, “Extraction” is a simple-minded action vehicle for Chris Hemsworth that should benefit from providing a theatrical-style adrenaline rush when the spigot for such fare has closed. Basically, Netflix is serving up an old-fashioned B movie, at a moment when the A-list blockbusters have been postponed.

The “Thor” star reunites with “Avengers” directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who produced the film, with Joe writing the script. Sam Hargrave, a second-unit director and stuntman on the “Avengers” movies (he doubled for Chris Evans), also makes his feature directing debut, which explains the emphasis on visceral thrills and can-you-top-this stunts.

The centerpiece of that is a bracing action sequence shot as one continuous scene, which would be more impressive, frankly, if “1917” hadn’t done the whole thing longer and better. Still, if the goal is to show off a bit in terms of technical expertise, it’s certainly a way of hammering the point home.

Beyond that, “Extraction” is a pretty numbing affair, reminiscent of early Arnold Schwarzenegger movies (“Commando” comes to mind), with a pinch of “Man on Fire.” It’s the sort of movie where bodies pile up promiscuously, and the near-unstoppable protagonist takes a grilling and keeps on killing.

In this case, in one of the oldest cliches imaginable, Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake is a battle-scarred mercenary nursing a wounded soul because of a personal loss. “You’re hoping if you spin the chamber enough times, you’re going to catch a bullet,” a colleague tells him, indicating that he really doesn’t care if he lives or dies.

Rake is enlisted to extract Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the teenage son of a jailed drug lord, who is abducted by a rival boss, Amir (Priyanshu Painyuli), and taken to Bangladesh. With the city under Amir’s control, Rake must fight off enemies at every turn, gradually bonding with the kid along the way. (“Stranger Things'” David Harbour pops in, briefly, as an old ally.)

Read more…