Based on the graphic novel “Ciudad” by Ande Sparks, and a story by Sparks with the Russo brothers, this marks the directorial debut of Sam Hargreaves, more famously known as a stunt coordinator on some of the biggest films from the MCU Universe, including Avengers: Endgame, Captain America: Civil War etc.
Extraction, screenplay by Joe Russo transports Thor on another mission, this time against contrary beliefs, to India. Hemsworth plays Tyler Rake, ex-army, and a mercenary who, thanks to his convenient yet loose backstory is the perfect man for the job, or a suicide mission as he likes to call it. Vulnerable and beat-up both physically and mentally, his mission is to extract a drug lord’s child from Dhaka, amidst a fierce rivalry between goons of the two countries.
A one-man army, Hemsworth’s build does remind us that he is a superhero that is going to take at least an army to bring down, however with this film, he is a little more human than that. Though it doesn’t take him much effort to fight the army of local goons while extracting the kid from the centre of Dhaka, an area looked over by drug lord Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyulli), the person behind this extraction.
Thanks to Hargreaves’ expertise in choreographing large scale action sequences, this film has no shortage of that. The fight sequences seem meticulously choreographed and shot to look a certain way, including one to look and feel like a one take sequence with a car chase, and street fighting sequence and since its Asia, they also localise it by bringing in a chawl fighting sequences as well with the cops behind Hemsworth who is hiding and shooting and killing within the maze of the building. Hargreaves goes all out with these sequences keeping it ruthless and bloody and gritty, and not shying away from the reality.
But the film lacks intent. Even the most highly choreographed sequences get boring and tedious after a point since the film has nothing to support it with. It lacks writing at the story level as well as character level. For starters, it uses a book ending to tell its tale, the only problem is, it gets super predictable thanks to the exposition used to set up the journey of the character. The character SAYS that the lake is 30 meters from where they are as if throwing the stone to measure it was not enough… and we know Tyler is going to take a plunge. Another part was when Nik (Golshifteh Farahani) asks Tyler why he is doing this and says, “You’re hoping if you spin the chamber enough times, you’re going to catch a bullet.” And we know he is going to catch one this time.
There are hardly any surprises here for the weak dialogue’s setup the predictable way ahead of its time and then we just wait for it to pass, hoping for something exciting to happen, but the film fails to live upto that mark. Tyler’s backstory, that comes up in a conversation with Ovi, the kid that he has to extract, which serves as the catalyst for what he does and how he does it, falls miserably flat since there’s only a conversation about it and no digging deep into his character or vulnerabilities at all. And it’s not just with him, this story comes off really paper thin with superficial story lines and motives not churned out well which adds onto the tediousness of the extraction, which may or may not lead to a few yawns here or there while watching it. Randeep Hooda still makes the best of the character he plays, just like most his roles, however Pankaj Tripathi’s character simply goes to waste by being established in only one scene considering the actor of his calibre could bring in a lot more to screen.
The film is basically a wham-bam fantasy, closer to its MCU roots thanks to those producers and the lead actor, because the human element doesn’t come out in the best way intended, making the action surrounding it also super lazy and tiresome.