(US - 2020)
Directed by Sam Hargrave. Written by Joe Russo. Cast: Chris Hemsworth, David Harbour, Rudraksh Jaiswal, Randeep Hooda, Golshifteh Farahani, Pankaj Tripathi, Priyanshu Painyuli, Suraj Rikame, Shataf Figar, Sam Hargrave, Rayna Campbell, Sudipto Ballav, Adam Bessa, Neha Mahajan, (R, 116 mins)
A Netflix production combined with the unforeseen COVID-19 novel coronavirus covers all bases in sparing Chris Hemsworth the indignity of having another non-Marvel movie bomb in theaters, but the non-stop action extravaganza EXTRACTION kicks all sorts of ass. Of course, it's got Marvel connections beyond Hemsworth, with screenwriter Joe Russo (co-director of two CAPTAIN AMERICAs and two AVENGERS movies) adapting Ande Parks' graphic novel Ciudad, and directing duties handled by veteran stunt coordinator and Chris Evans' Captain America stunt double Sam Hargrave. EXTRACTION is an impressive directing debut for Hargrave, who keeps things at a frenetic pace with an opening hour filled with one gonzo action set piece after another, including one long, 12-minute chase sequence where the edit cheats are obvious, but it's so expertly-assembled and tightly-edited that it doesn't diminish the effect at all. Hemsworth hasn't had much box-office success outside the Marvel extended universe, but EXTRACTION is his best star vehicle since Michael Mann's BLACKHAT, which of course tanked in theaters but has found a cult following since, and although it was intended for streaming before the coronavirus shuttered movie theaters indefinitely, EXTRACTION probably would've been quite an experience on a big screen. Hargrave approaches the film with a stuntman's eye for action, and in many ways, this looks and feels like a mash-up of THE RAID 2 with a big-budget version of the kind of B-movie actiongasms that guys like Scott Adkins and Isaac Florentine have been making for years.