EXTRACTION II (2023)
Release Date: 06/16/23 [Netflix]
Genre: Action. Thriller.
"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."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
“I’m not coming to negotiate.”
The much-anticipated sequel to 2020’s Extraction is here and it takes no prisoners. It is an assault on the eyes and ears in the best kind of way. I wasn’t expecting to be so eager for an action romp debuting on a streaming service. But director Sam Hargrave returns to helm this next outing of Tyler (Chris Hemsworth), a mercenary who is as easy to cheer for as he is fun to watch. The first Extraction film was released during the pandemic and offered many people a desperate escape from reality when movie theaters worldwide were closed. That first film was gritty and raw, and it had people talking. The story was simple but punched hard. There was no need to be academic or snobby, the film just punched audiences in the gut and we finally get to have a second helping.
Because story wise, Extraction II follows suit similarly as before, leaning into the smarter tropes of the sequel playbook. The plot has it both ways, where it is very much its own thing; it also does play many of the same beats of the first film. It picks up right after the events of Extraction, with Tyler recovering from the wounds he sustained previously. He contemplates retirement, sequestering himself in an Austrian cabin until he is again presented with an opportunity to save a person, or in this movie’s case, three people, from an extraordinary situation and abscond them to safety.
Frankly, I applaud how simple the story is because it presents itself in such a matter-of-fact manner. These films, like John Wick or Taken, aren’t meant to be elaborate think-pieces but smartly constructed action films. Extraction II is a textbook example of this setup. You know what you’re going to get. The villains are forgettable, and they are allowed to be in this film. They exist to be beaten up, shot up, blown up, any excuse to show off the impressive choreography, sets, and stunt work on display here.
The action scenes are breathtaking in this film, though they suffer a bit from diminishing returns by the film’s third act. I will say, though, that to the credit of the stunt team, the first colossal action set piece delivers so much. As with the first Extraction film, we are once again treated to another seemingly unbroken take (there are apparent digital cuts, but they never take you out of the moment) that becomes a rollercoaster of bullets and blood. This single shot lasts for approximately 22 minutes, having been shot in about a month and rehearsed nearly 5 months previously. In that time frame, we journey from a prison to a courtyard, to a car chase to a train chase. And the filmmakers make every second of this sequence count.
Again, this film will never be accused of being a master class in theater work. The reverence will undoubtedly be for its stunts and effects. Chris Hemsworth does have enough tender moments of reflection and revelation for us to identify with his struggle and ultimate devotion to extracting the family. The supporting cast does their jobs well. Especially Golshifteh Farahani and Adam Bessa, the brother/sister duo who hire and oversee Tyler’s assignment.
There isn’t much more to say about Extraction II other than it will deeply satisfy a two-hour period over an afternoon or evening. It is a symphony of stylized violence, with the action scenes demanding repeat viewings due to their intricate and careful construction. Extraction II is everything it needs to be. It is a cinematic experience that raises the bar for what action stunts are capable of while starring one of the most charismatic movie stars working today.