In April 2020, most of the world was stuck inside due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Movie theaters were closed, causing every major studio to push back their films to later dates, so streaming services were one of the few places to find new movies. One of those streamers was Netflix, which released the action thriller Extraction starring Chris Hemsworth on April 24, 2020. Hemsworth stars as Tyler Rake, a former special ops agent- turned-elite mercenary who must rescue the son of an Indian drug lord. Extraction was a huge hit with audiences and became Netflix’s most-watched original film up to that point.
Three years later, Tyler Rake is back with a new mission in the sequel Extraction 2. After surviving the events at the end of Extraction, including a gunshot to the neck, Tyler retires to a secluded cabin in Austria. While recovering from his injuries, Tyler is recruited by a mysterious stranger (Idris Elba) for another adventure — and this one is personal. Tyler is tasked with freeing his ex-wife’s sister, Ketevan (Tinatin Dalakishvili), and her two children from a Georgian prison. The sequel packs an even bigger and better punch, with more fantastic action sequences. Here are three reasons why Extraction 2 should be the next movie in your queue.
In Extraction, the most memorable sequence of the film is the 12-minute one-take tracking shot shortly after Tyler rescues Ovi from his kidnappers. The sequence includes a car chase, knife battles, shootouts, and explosions. For the sequel, director Sam Hargrave brought back the tracking shot technique, but this time, he increased the length to 21 minutes. The extended one-take sequence in Extraction 2 involves three distinct parts: a prison break, a car chase, and a train escape. The action begins when Tyler frees Ketevan and her children from prison. Tyler survives the prison riot and is immediately thrust into a car chase. After the cars are compromised, the action heads to a train, where helicopters and machine gun warfare come into play.
The one-take sequence is a breathtaking feat of action filmmaking. The stunt work and camera movements are superb, which can be credited to Hargrave’s experience as a stunt coordinator. The grueling sequence was filmed over three to four months — and it was filmed out of order due to production issues. Shooting in reverse order meant Hargrave and the crew had to make sure “everything flowed and connected to the next scene.” Luckily, the jaw-dropping scene came out perfect.
On big superhero projects and adventure films, stunt coordinators end up directing the action sequences. Because of this experience, many stunt coordinators and stuntmen are becoming directors. Deadpool 2‘s David Leitch and John Wick: Chapter 4‘s Chad Stahelski are the two names that come to mind. Leitch and Stahelski worked together on multiple Matrix movies before co-directing John Wick. Leitch has gone on to direct action tentpoles, including Atomic Blonde and Hobbs & Shaw, while Stahelski continues to direct the John Wickfilms. Leitch and Stahelski are now two of the best action movie directors in Hollywood.
With Extraction 2, Hargrave’s name now deserves to be brought up with Leitch and Stahelski’s as Hollywood’s premier action filmmakers. Hargrave previously worked as a stunt coordinator on The Hunger Gamesfranchise, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. Under Hargrave’s direction, the Extraction franchise features spectacular stunt work, jaw-dropping one-take sequences, and satisfying final battles. Hargrave continues to improve as a director with each Extraction film, so expect Extraction 3 to be even crazier than the previous two entries.
Calling Chris Hemsworth an action star isn’t new; after all, this is the same guy who has starred as Thor, the God of Thunder, since 2010. However, his time in Marvel movies, though entertaining, has robbed audiences of Hemsworth’s natural skills needed to succeed as an action hero. The Australian actor checks all the boxes of a leading man: tall, handsome, fit, and charismatic. Hemsworth brings all of those qualities to play Thor, but those are superhero movies. Thor films have action, but they are not action movies. Even Hemsworth admitted to GQ that Thor: Love and Thunder was “too silly.”
There is nothing silly about Extraction 2. The jokes are scarce, and the action is plentiful. Once the tracking shot begins 25 or so minutes into the film, Extraction 2 is a 90-minute car crash full of guns, fists, and explosions. At the center of it all is Hemsworth, who feels like a more sophisticated version of an ’80s action star. Because of his size and stature, Hemsworth is believable as an elite mercenary. With a gun in one hand and a closed fist in the other, Hemsworth finally feels like a true action star.
Stream Extraction 2 on Netflix today.
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