Stunt personnel turning to directing didn’t end with John Wick series, now with Extraction it was time for Sam Hargrave who has previously worked on Avengers and Hunger Games as a stunt coordinator. To no surprise much of the talent involved is from Avengers as the script is penned by Joe Russo who’s also producing with his brother Anthony and the lead is Chris Hemsworth. Extraction delivers exactly what it promises in its title, it is a pedal-to-the-metal action movie that gives zero f’s.
For your viewing pleasures there is plenty of best possible stunt choreography and fights you can get right now. All of it is quite great even without it but there’s an 11-minute long action sequence which is nicely cut together to seem like we’re moving in real time. Here both Hemsworth (as Tyler Rake, oh yes that’s the name) and India’s Randeep Hooda (Saju) both get to really flex along with their stunt doubles as the fighting is entertaining, gritty and well shot. And yes Tyler Rake kills someone with a rake, pretty sure twice actually. In between all the shooting, there’s a welcomed stint by David Harbour (as Gaspar) which really is a fresh break from the bleakness of it all and Harbour succeeds in those scenes.
It’s a weird decision to tint the picture to this slimy mix of light brown and yellow that both makes the film look ugly and seem boring as it’s really oversaturated. Gorgeous action especially gets shamefully watered down with it since you can’t pick out anything from more exotic locations than we’re used to seeing in movies lately. Debutant Hargrave was wisely paired up with more experienced guy in cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel so it’s a bummer that the shots they worked on were reduced to this. There are many things in Extraction that were touched only on surface level, mostly the big bad Amir Asif (played by Priyanshu Painyuli) who doesn’t get the character depth and Rudhraksh Jaiswal (as Ovi) as he gets no proper lines since he’s only told to stay put constantly. But it’s certainly a fine debut for Hargrave who hopefully gets more polished scripts to work with in future.
Smileys: Stunt choreography, David Harbour
As far as Netflix’s action movies go, you could argue that 6 Underground crawled so Extraction could walk.