BOTTOM LINE: A Pointless Actioner That Chris Hemsworth Can’t Rescue
|Platform: Netflix||Genre: Action|
Skin and swear: Occasional utterances of expletives, no skin show
What Is the Story About?
Ovi Mahajan, the teenager son of a prisoned druglord in India, is kidnapped by his arch-rival and drug baron Amir Asif and his men from Dhaka. A fearless mercenary Tyler Rake is on the job to rescue Ovi amid a political crisis in the country. Saju, a guardian and a henchman of Ovi Mahajan Sr., tries to take the task into his own hands to facilitate the return of the youngster to Mumbai. Tyler and Ovi escape several attacks by Asif’s men, and also forge a warm bonhomie, develop mutual trust in the course of the extraction. The job is no more a mere monetary commitment for Tyler as he braves perilous situations to ensure the safety of the boy. What kind of a future is Ovi staring at? Is Tyler now a transformed man?
Chris Hemsworth has a blast with the action sequences and there are no two things about it. Even in the dullest and most obvious situations where he retaliates in the film, he’s the only one in the film trying to give it some authenticity. Rudhraksh Jaiswal is a good find in the role of a kidnapper. Although he appears awestruck by his famous co-star, he brings a vulnerability to the sequences every time he bares his heart out. Randeep Hooda and Priyanshu Painyuli are criminally wasted in their parts as Saju and Asif – they make little impact in poorly etched roles that last the entire duration. Golshifteh Farahani, despite her irresistible on-screen charm, has a passive role that doesn’t offer her much in terms of a performance. Pankaj Tripathi’s blink-and-a-miss appearance is more of a disappointment.
Extraction, the much anticipated Chris Hemsworth starrer, isn’t the slick actioner it promised to be. Mounted on a lavish scale, its characters are always on the move (road, water, sky) and the one-liners are surprisingly moist (they, however, don’t translate into great sequences). However, the flattering visual package doesn’t serve much purpose when it comes together for an excuse of an unexciting story. All said and done, one doesn’t expect a film like Extraction to have a great story. All it needs is a purpose to give some meaning to the action sequences.
Disappointingly, the action sequences aren’t exactly jaw-dropping either, but they serve as a welcome distraction from the emptiness in the proceedings. However, when viewed through the eyes of an uncompromising adrenaline junkie, Extraction is a major letdown. The rusticity of the Bangladesh setting gives an edge to the viewing experience. The staging of the many action sequences is dull, devoid of purpose and self-indulgent – it’s almost like the filmmaker is telling his team, ‘We don’t have the story to engage you, let’s at least pretend it’s progressing at a great pace with the action sequences’. Extraction’s idea of action is to go on a shooting spree – it doesn’t care for tension or nuance in the staging.
As Ovi and Tyler bond in the middle of a crisis, you get a rare hope of some earnestness in the storytelling. Despite those flashes of hope, Extraction is desperate to prove that it’s an actioner time and again. The backdrops keep changing, but the poor character establishment drowns the film. Saju and Ovi Mahajan Sr. are welcomed with pomp – the only thing they do is to speed dial the mercenaries and give occasional warnings to each other. Amir Asif is introduced as the Pablo Escobar of Bangladesh – he’s a paper tiger only gets a bag of punchlines and seething one-liners to prove his worth. In regular viewer terms, he’s the ‘dummy villain’. Except for the climactic sequence, Tyler doesn’t appear vulnerable at any point and it’s always certain that he’ll overpower Asif by hook or crook.
Extraction is a film that feels like a singular action block with intermittent breaks dedicated to the backstories of its characters. Everything about it is so uni-layered – it at least should have settled for a formulaic twist where some of its characters shifted their loyalty. One feels it would have made for an entertaining Indian film hinging on the captive-rescuer equation with a masala topping. Netflix tries to be all classy about it – the unimaginative, time-tested storytelling leaving you cold more often than not.
Music and Other Departments?
The music may not make you jump off the couch though lends a sense of enigma and mystery to the situations. The absence of a strong story or great situations don’t let the music affect you beyond a point. Within the limitations of its setting, the cinematographic value of the film is decent. The unambitious action sequences get on your nerves in the last hour– that’s an indication of how the film stretches its elasticity beyond its limit and how crisp it should have ideally been.
Chris Hemsworth in the action sequences
The equation between the child and the rescuer
Unimaginatively staged action sequences
No purpose to the action
Absence of emotional depth
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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