Movie Review: Extraction

Thor gets the John McClane treatment

Extraction (2020)

Netflix;  3 / 5

The "mercenary finds redemption" story is old as the hills, but the old stories can still be effective depending on the staging. This one's effective, by virtue of finding a comparatively new place to tell this story: Bangladesh. To be fair, it was shot in India and Thailand, but the setting purports to be mostly Bangladesh, and it's not like the woods outside Vancouver or the hills of L.A. County haven't stood in for almost every other place on the globe at some point, so I'm not going to quibble over being asked to pretend one south Asian location is another. 

As that goes, this movie also continues a trend I really like--south Asia in general getting to be the setting for stories. As an American movie watcher, I really dig being able to see what comes out of the rest of the world as moviemaking technology continues its inevitable diaspora. It puts new places on screen, and new faces in diverse colors putting new spins on old archetypes, and I'm glad to see it. 

Beyond that, this is a by-the-numbers very violent shooter-movie boasting some really epic long shots of well-choreographed action. It reminds me the Bourne stuff (the follow-the-hero shakycam gets a little dizzying during the expected ludicrous but awesome chase/brawl/gunfight through Dhaka) but in the best ways. Hemsworth does a great leading man turn, with the raw physicality to do the crazy fight stuff very well (and he gets tore up doing this--it takes somebody as profoundly physical as Hemsworth to make that even remotely believable). There's a wonderfully unexpected cameo that I won't ruin for you, and I've now discovered Golshifteh Farahani, who is freaking gorgeous and needs to be in more movies. So if you're into all that sort of thing, it's a great little popcorn action flick to kill a Friday night with. 

3 stars of 5: I liked it, but don’t need to watch it again.