Extraction 2 Movie Review (2023)

Overseen and conceived by the Russo Brothers, renowned for their work on Marvel films, the “Extraction” franchise brings back the big-budget, super-violent adventure genre that has become increasingly rare.

Following the tradition of iconic action heroes like Rambo, Bourne, and John Wick, “Extraction” presents Tyler Rake, portrayed by Chris Hemsworth, who embodies the reluctant killer burdened by a tragic past. In “Extraction 2,” Tyler’s journey delves deeper into his grief and guilt, offering a redemption story set amidst a world of shadowy characters.

Director Sam Hargrave, along with Hemsworth’s tremendous physicality and range as an actor, delivers an action-packed film that attempts to balance thrills with emotional depth.

Hemsworth’s Compelling Performance as Tyler Rake

Chris Hemsworth, known for his portrayal of Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, proves his versatility once again as Tyler Rake. Hemsworth infuses the character with both ferocity and vulnerability, making him more than just a stock action hero. From a scheming male bimbo to the mighty Thor, Hemsworth has portrayed a wide range of characters convincingly.

In “Extraction,” he brings a self-aware swagger reminiscent of a young Sean Connery, while also revealing a hidden sadness that haunts Tyler. Hemsworth’s portrayal adds depth and relatability to the character, elevating the “Extraction” films beyond their action-packed surface.

Tyler Rake’s Redemption and Personal Demons

Tyler’s backstory becomes a significant driving force in the “Extraction” franchise. As a former special forces soldier who chose duty over his ailing son, Tyler is haunted by guilt and a sense of failure. This theme of parental and marital shortcomings resonates throughout the series, paralleling the defective fathers he encounters on his missions.

In “Extraction 2,” Tyler is tasked with rescuing his ex-wife’s sister and children from her drug-dealing husband. The film becomes a journey of redemption as Tyler confronts his past mistakes while protecting the innocent. The exploration of Tyler’s internal struggles adds emotional weight to the relentless action.

The Intense Opening Sequence

The film’s first major sequence stands out as a technical achievement. Spanning an uninterrupted 21 minutes, it follows Tyler and the family through a gripping prison break and a thrilling train chase across the tundra. Director Sam Hargrave, a former stunt coordinator, displays his expertise in crafting exhilarating action scenes.

The use of long takes and a first-person perspective reminiscent of video games immerses the viewer in the heart-pounding chaos. While some CGI elements lack believability, the intricate choreography and expert timing make this sequence a standout moment in the film.

Homage to Classic Action Films with a Modern Flair

“Extraction 2” draws inspiration from iconic action films like “Die Hard” and John Woo’s doppelgänger battles, infusing them with a modern sensibility. The film’s second and third major sections pay homage to these classics while maintaining their own imaginative twists.

However, they face the challenge of following the exceptional opening sequence, resulting in a slight feeling of letdown. Despite occasional overly frenetic editing and shaky camerawork, the action remains impressive and showcases Hargrave’s expertise.

Insights into Tyler’s Circle and Character Development

The film attempts to flesh out Tyler’s immediate circle and his connection to characters tied to his past mistakes and present-day issues. The talented ensemble cast, including Idris Elba, Golshifteh Farahani, and Adam Bessa, brings depth and sincerity to their roles. They explore the psychological trauma and guilt embedded in Joe Russo’s script, portraying their characters with seriousness and pulp fiction gravitas.

However, the limited screen time and the film’s focus on action result in underdeveloped character arcs. The series caters primarily to audiences craving relentless action, leaving little room for substantial character exploration.

A Balance Between Realism and Thrills

“Extraction 2” strives to ground its military-adjacent shoot-’em-up adventures in a semblance of reality. It offers characters with narratives that transcend typical action film tropes. Unlike many contemporary Hollywood movies that target the inner child of adults, the “Extraction” films resonate with the potential maturity within younger audiences.

The interactions between parents and their disappointed children capture the revelation of adults’ fallibility, an experience relatable to young viewers. Although rated “R,” the film’s ideal audience might be around 12 years old, presenting a thrilling yet thought-provoking adventure.

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“Extraction 2” continues the tradition of high-octane, super-violent adventures led by a tormented protagonist seeking redemption. Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of Tyler Rake adds a layer of vulnerability and humanity to the character, transcending the typical action hero archetype.

While the film excels in delivering adrenaline-pumping sequences, it struggles to provide substantial character development beyond the surface. Nevertheless, “Extraction 2” attempts to anchor its action within a semblance of reality, appealing to both thrill-seekers and younger audiences looking for a touch of maturity in their action films. Ultimately, the film delivers an exciting ride, tinged with fragments of emotional depth.

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