EXTRACTION 2 (NETFLIX) (2023)
SYNOPSIS: After barely surviving his grievous wounds from his mission in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tyler Rake is back, and his team is ready to take on their next mission.
We last saw Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), the black ops mercenary being shot and falls into a river in Mumbai presumably dead. But now Rake is back for yet another deadly mission in Georgia after recovering from the near fatal injury. At least we know John Wick has a similar chance of resurrecting for another chapter.
Hired by his estranged ex-wife to rescue her sister, Ketevan (Tinatin Dalakishvili) from the clutches of her Georgian cartel husband and his menacing elder brother, Rake teams up with fellow mercenaries, brother and sister team, Nik (Golshifteh Farahani) and Yaz (Adam Bessa) to barge into a prison and bring Ketevan and her two kids to safety.
Let’s face it, nobody is watching Extraction 2 for the polished characters, award-winning acting and drama which explains why screenwriter Joe Russo and stunt coordinator turned director, Sam Hargrave delivers another ass-whopping sequel with minimal narrative and pit stop.
While the first involves Rake extracting a young boy, the stakes are up a little in the sequel as he is require to extract a family of three. The initial extraction sequence lasts a staggering 20 minutes with Rake first fighting his way through a jail riot to a car/motorcycle chase to a train/helicopter shootout. The action sequences definitely are bigger and louder with Rake taking down no less than three (likely CGI) helicopters with a machine gun. It’s not just Hemsworth shooting, stabbing, punching and killing his opponents in every imaginative way possible. His co-star Golshifteh Farahani deserved a mention as well given she has more to do in Extraction 2 as she puts in an equally no-holds-barred performance.
With a supposedly bigger budget and accumulated directorial experience from the first, Hargrave works even harder to deliver more bone-crunching action pieces. Extraction 2 works extremely well especially in the hand-to-hand combat sequences with Rake killing the bad guys with some everyday gym equipment in very creative ways later in the movie. Hargrave’s handheld camera style is in full force right here minus the motion sickness as it moves through every path and space possible.
There’s apparently an emotional stake as to why Rake accepts this mission. The man is trying to redeem himself after leaving his cancer-stricken late son years earlier. This leads to a quiet scene between Rake and his ex-wife Mia (Olga Kurylenko) who finally has a chance to confront each other after years being away. Finally a bathroom break for the general audiences.
We are not sure what Joe Russo is brewing with the introduction of a mysterious character played by Idris Elba and of course Mia (since she is played by a well-known actress) in the subsequent Extraction chapters. However at this point, we are very interested at what level of carnage is Hargrave going to unleash with his leading man, Chris Hemsworth in the future. As a hard-hitting, furious action franchise, Extraction is fast reaching the gold standard of John Wick and that is a good thing for action fans who has been fed with generic CGI-enhanced action escapisms for a long while.
Review by Linus Tee