Chris Hemsworth in a still from 'Extraction' (Image via Netflix) Photograph:( WION Web Team )
In 'Extraction', Chris Hemsworth literally plays a modern version of one his best onscreen characters Thor- but minus the sass.
Chris Hemsworth's latest film 'Extraction' is a treat for those who love the action genre. High on stunts, the film’s action sequences are brutal, hardcore and in plenty, so much so that the story becomes secondary. Directed by Sam Hargrave who was the stunt director of 'Avengers: Endgame', ‘Extraction’ is nearly a two-hour film of a man trying to rescue a teenage boy from a local Drug lord in Dhaka and his army of men.
Hemsworth plays Tyler, who is given the job to extract Ovi Mahajan (newcomer Rudraksh Jaiswal) son of Mumbai based drug lord (Pankaj Tripathi) from Dhaka. Ovi has been kidnapped and taken hostage by the local ‘Pablo Escobar’ of the area, Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli) and held captive in a dilapidated house in the outskirts of Dhaka.
Tyler with the help of Nik (Golshifteh Farahani) and team, tracks Ovi down and is almost about to finish the extraction and the take the boy home when the team advises him to abort the mission as someone has gone rogue in the middle. Meanwhile, Saju (Randeep Hooda) who works for Ovi's father is also on the lookout for the boy which leads to clashes with Tyler. As Tyler and Ovi run around the bustling streets of Dhaka, they have Saju and nearly the entire city police looking for them.
Elaborate and unending action sequences, lots of car chases, hand-to-hand combat and men and children wielding bazookas freely forms rest of the film’s story. The entire film is just that, of men flexing muscles, fighting with each other and Hemsworth turning into a one-man army trying to save the boy from getting killed.
The screenplay written by Joe Russo gives backstories to only three characters that too very sketchy ones. Tyler - an ex Australian mercenary who is yet to come to terms with his young son’s death, Saju- for whom his family holds utmost importance and Ovi, the neglected boy of a mafia lord who develops a fondness for Tyler. The backstories are merely mentioned in a scene or two, they are not very deftly written neither do they add much to the narrative. On the contrary that one scene where Tyler narrates his past to Ovi- in a tender moment of bonding- is one the slowest portions of the film.
While the film is based in Dhaka, it has been shot in Mumbai, Ahmadabad and Thailand. Of course, the sub-continent in Hollywood is always shown in a certain way. The stories always tend to glamorize the chaos and poverty of the third world. This film is no different. The only portions that are shown in the film are the seedy by-lanes of a very dusty city where people stay in cramped houses with Bollywood music blaring out of them. So typical, no?
The drug lord, of course, employs a bunch of children and who are more than happy to wield guns at whoever their master wants. They are malnourished but full of anger and ready to do anything to please their boss Asif.
The film gives more importance to the action sequences than the story. It is also important to note that it takes a white man to come and rescue a boy in India even as the local guardian(who probably knows the area better than Tyler) plays a second fiddle in the story.
The film, though has to be given credit for not just the action sequences but also for using some local languages like Hindi and Bengali when needed. Instead of making the Indian actors speak in accented English, the director keeps the authenticity intact by making them speak the local language. In one scene even Hemsworth speaks a few words in Bangla!
Shot by Newton Thomas Sigel the scenes give an immersive feeling that make you feel the punches and blows in many cases.
Randeep Hooda, Pankaj Tripathi are let down by poor screenplay. It is a Hemsworth show all the way - who is also one of the co-producers of the film. Hemsworth literally plays a modern version of one his best onscreen characters Thor- but minus the sass. Hemsworth is glum and only knows the language of violence in this film. The only guy who matches Hemsworth's overpowering screen presence is actor Rudraksh Jaiswal who delivers a confident performance as the lonely Ovi. Painyuli shows spark in the limited screen space he has. He adapts the local Dhaka style of Bengali well.
'Extraction' is technically a very sound film. Slick action, good looking actors fighting it out and some mean stunts. If heavy-duty action thrillers are something that suits your palate, 'Extraction' is an good option. Don’t go by the story so much though.