Extraction 2 movie review: Despite Chris Hemsworth and Golshifteh Farahani’s sincere efforts, director Sam Hargrave ups the ante when it comes to staging intricately choreographed action, but the film can’t help but seem a little generic.
Director – Sam Hargrave
Cast – Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, Adam Bessa, Tinatin, Dalakishvili, Tornike Gogrichiani
Rating – 3/5
Despite the fact that it has only been three years, a lot has changed since the first Extraction movie debuted on Netflix in April of 2020. A pandemic has come and (mostly) gone, the streaming business is now giving stuff away for free, and both Randeep Hooda and the Russo brothers have chosen to set their reputations on fire with recent creative decisions. Some aspects, though, such as the unspoken Hollywood requirement that every sequel must, in every way, surpass the original picture, won’t ever change. Extraction 2 is a more expansive experience than the very lean first film, including Chris Hemsworth’s tree trunk of a character Tyler Rake, but like most part twos, it suffers from a lack of focus.
Rake, the daring mercenary who was wounded in the neck on a Dhaka bridge when we last saw him, is brought back to life so quickly in the movie that no one would have objected if it omitted this necessary scene entirely. However, Rake’s rescue sets up a fairly lengthy period during which he is first made to recover in a hospital in Dubai before being transported by his former cohorts Nik (Golshifteh Farahani) and Yaz (Adam Bessa) to live alone in a log cabin in Austria. But if a man like Rake isn’t daring the Grim Reaper to try him once more, then defying death is useless, and after spending several days fishing in the frozen lake outside his cottage and observing
However, it’s personal this time. Rake’s job is to free his former sister-in-law, who is being held captive in a Georgian jail with her two children by her criminal husband. The script, credited to Joe Russo, is unwilling to explain or unpack how Rake could have missed the fact that his ex-relative is married to a drug lord with cult-like control over a tiny army. But how could you expect it to when its only goal is to determine the simplest paths for Rake to take between each action scene?
Extraction 2 is more akin to the type of European thrillers that appeared to have gained in popularity in the middle of the 2000s, in contrast to the original Extraction, which was a fast-paced and extremely violent twist on Western storytelling conventions. For instance, I was reminded of the villain from Taken 2 by the main antagonist in this film, and it wasn’t just because both of the characters are from the same kind of European countries that seem to generate only criminals in Hollywood films. It was also because of their objectives. The antagonist Zurab (Tornike Gogrichiani) in Extraction 2 is not interested in world conquest or widespread genocide. He has just personal reasons for pursuing Rake like a Terminator.
Despite having a very conventional setup and structure, the original movie was so disruptive because it encouraged audience engagement by not giving away too much about Rake. You felt forced to put your own worries and anxieties onto him since he was such a blank slate, somewhat like John Wick. Extraction 2, though, doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Rake spends the most of the film directing the plot’s characters, and it appears that he feels forced to do the same with the audience.