Extraction 2 movie review (2023)
The “Extraction” films, overseen and conceived by the Russo Brothers of Marvel fame, represent a rare breed of big-budget, super-violent adventures.
These movies feature a familiar archetype
the prolific killer who yearns to leave his violent past behind but finds himself constantly pulled back into a world of bloodshed.
Chris Hemsworth, known for his role as Thor, joins the ranks of these “Sad Action Heroes” as he brings depth and range to his portrayal of Tyler Rake.
Hemsworth’s remarkable physicality and ferocity in violent scenes make it believable that his character can endure unimaginable punishment and keep going.
A Multifaceted Hero
Chris Hemsworth‘s Tyler Rake, a former special forces soldier with the Australian Army, is haunted by guilt and grief.
He chose to embark on another tour of duty in Afghanistan while his son battled an incurable disease, only to be absent during his child’s passing.The subsequent collapse of his marriage drove him into the life of a mercenary.
The “Extraction” franchise delves into the tragic past of its protagonist, crafting redemption stories set in action-packed purgatories filled with distorted reflections of Tyler’s failures as a husband and father.
A Journey of Redemption
The first “Extraction” film follows Tyler as he rescues the kidnapped son of an Indian drug lord in the chaos of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Accepting the mission becomes Tyler’s way of atoning for his past mistakes, as he becomes a guardian figure to the boy in an urban hellhole.
In the sequel, an enigmatic man delivers a message from Tyler’s ex-wife, revealing that her sister and children are held captive by her drug-dealing husband.
Tasked with freeing them from a Georgian prison and protecting them from a sadistic criminal and his brother, Tyler’s path to redemption is set in motion once again.
The Intensity of Unbroken Sequences
“Extraction 2” features a breathtaking 21-minute uninterrupted action sequence, emulating the video game experience.
Director Sam Hargrave, a former stunt coordinator, masterfully combines digitally-stitched footage to create a visually stunning “oner.” The camera adopts various perspectives, immersing the audience in the heart-pounding action.
While some composited elements and camerawork may stretch believability, the intricate choreography and expert timing still captivate, leaving viewers in awe.
An Action-Fueled Rollercoaster
The film is divided into two additional major sections: one reminiscent of the original “Die Hard” and the other drawing inspiration from John Woo’s iconic doppelgänger confrontations, such as “The Killer.
” These sequences, executed with no-fuss virtuosity, struggle to surpass the high bar set by the jailbreak-to-railway scene. Though occasional frenetic cutting and shaky camerawork mimic the Russo Bros’ signature style, they risk diluting the impact.
Nevertheless, these sections would anchor most action epics admirably, if not for the daunting task of following the initial jaw-dropping sequence.
Unraveling Familial Bonds and Personal Choices
A compelling subplot revolves around Sandro, one of the ex-sister-in-law’s children, torn between embracing his family’s violent legacy and forging his own path.
Sandro’s internal struggle culminates in a choice between seeking vengeance against Tyler or defying his upbringing. While the outcome is predictable in the realm of Sad Action Hero movies, the tension builds as the story unfolds.
“Extraction 2: A Sad Action Hero’s Journey” showcases the ongoing evolution of the Sad Action Hero genre, with Chris Hemsworth delivering a powerful performance as the conflicted Tyler Rake.
The film combines intense action sequences with glimpses of emotional depth, exploring themes of guilt, redemption, and the complexities of family dynamics.
While the movie excels in its visually stunning long-take sequences and expertly executed set pieces, it sometimes struggles to maintain the same level of impact throughout.
Nevertheless, it offers a refreshing attempt to ground military-adjacent adventures in a semblance of reality, while still providing the thrill-seeking entertainment that fans of the genre crave.
By addressing the vulnerabilities and disappointments that lie within parental figures, the film resonates with viewers who are coming to terms with the fallibility of their own idols.
“Extraction 2” may not fully transcend the limitations of the Sad Action Hero canon, but it is a commendable addition that successfully blends heart-pounding action with introspective moments, captivating a wide range of audiences.
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