‘Extraction’ has thrilling action but no story

Nolan Fullington, Columnist

“Extraction” would normally be a film that everyone glosses over, but due to the lack of theatrical releases, something like “Extraction” is the closest resemblance to a theatrical film at the moment.

It is doing fairly well on Netflix, and is largely driven by the creative power of Joe Russo, who wrote and produced this film, and who is most known for directing a number of Marvel films with his brother.

The plot here is nothing new and that of a made-for-TV-movie. A black-market mercenary, haunted by his tragic past, is hired to rescue the son of an infamous drug lord from the Middle East.

Though it may sound generic, it’s how the film was executed that made this a respectable action film that delivers all the goods, although it is also accompanied with a lousy story.

This film was directed by Sam Hargrave, who is a very accomplished stuntman. Hargrave makes his feature directorial debut with this film and that shows quite a bit in its positives and negatives.

This film is very reminiscent of “John Wick: Parabellum” in that a bunch of men with guns are chasing a man and the plot is driven by well-filmed action.

The first hour of the film is quite thrilling actually. As a film based around setpieces, they are very well orchestrated.

The stunt work in those sequences, somewhat needless to say, is spectacular due to a stuntman being the director.

All of it is coupled with great sound like the sound of bones crackling or tough gut punches that really make the audience feel the action and not just see it.

There is even a breath-taking “one-shot” during an action sequence that made it feel like something pulled from a documentary.

Films that sprung to mind during that sequence were “Children of Men” and “The French Connection.” The highlights mainly involve Chris Hemsworth throwing people through walls, shattering people’s knees and slapping people’s faces in with car doors.

However, what makes the action thrilling is that he does get hurt and is not indestructible like some action films make the mistake of doing.

About halfway through the runtime, the film becomes quite tedious because the film begins to slow down to allow for character, but you realize that there really isn’t any.

It feels as if setpieces were thought of first (just like most Marvel films), then the characters are fitted around the plotting.

This would be a thrilling 80 minutes, but it feels dragged out to two hours to make room for some needless set-pieces and attempts at character, which is fine, but it’s very obvious what this film was trying to accomplish and character just feels like an afterthought.

A good three-quarters of the film is action, which further shows what the emphasis of this film truly is.

I did enjoy the darker turn that Chris Hemsworth took on for this role.

There are no quick jokes or charismatic remarks. Instead, he is haunted, brutally violent and dangerous — almost to a video-gamey extent at times because he really is a punching bag in this film.

It’s the type of action film where the action takes you through walls, out second-story windows, then getting plowed over by a car in the street. However, it’s so well executed that you get caught up in how thrilling it is.

There isn’t much else to say about “Extraction” because it is just a film based on its set pieces and they are spectacular and well-orchestrated, which also works as a substitute for a big theatrical experience.

However, the film is simply too long to keep up such a level of energy the film requires to surpass its weaknesses.

If you’re looking for something more thoughtful in its story or characters, turn on something else.