Extraction – review (Netflix)

Brief synopsis: A mercenary for hire, goes to India to extract an incarcerated drug lord’s son after he is taken by a rival drug lord. The job becomes complicated when his team gets killed and the payment for the extraction does not arrive. The mercenary must battle to get the boy and himself out of the city with enemies at every turn.

Is it any good?: Extraction is a blast. Bridging both the familiar and unfamiliar – drug lords and gunplay the familiar, the Indian setting being the unfamiliar – and crafts a compelling story with an enigmatic antagonist and simple, straightforward premise – save the boy – the film hurtles through its over one-hundred-minute runtime.

Spoiler territory: a mercenary, Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), is battling against overwhelming odds on a bridge in India. He gets shot and badly wounded. As he struggles to stay alive, he remembers his young family in happier times, his baby son playing in the sand.

Two days earlier, Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), is chatting with a couple of friends after school. From a rich family, he is picked up by his chauffeur and bodyguard. He and his friends go for a drink and chatter as teenagers do and then he heads home. The home is vast, reflecting the wealth he lives in. He is questioned about his dalliance after school by the head of security, Saju (Randeep Hooda). Has he not been told to come straight home after school? Ovi nods.

Ovi practices the piano in the large home. With Saju off for the evening, Ovi takes the chance to sneak out and meet his friends at a club. His friends goad him at the club, trying to get him to speak to a girl he likes. One of his friends decides that he needs a little dutch courage. Two of the boys go into an alley behind the club and light a joint.

As the friends smoke, a couple of policemen come and catch them. The boys quickly discard the joint. One of the officers shoots Ovi’s friend and they kidnap Ovi. Saju goes to see Ovi’s father, Ovi Sr. (Pankaj Tripathi). Ovi Sr. is a drug lord, hence the wealth and knows that his son has been snatched.

He admonishes Saju for allowing his son to be kidnapped by his bitter rival, Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli). He tells him to go and get his son back, warning him that his own family is in danger if he does not retrieve his son. Saju speaks to his wife, Neysa (Neha Mahajan). She says that Ovi Sr. should pay the ransom.

Saju explains that he cannot as all his assets are frozen. He does think he knows of someone who could help. In Australia, Tyler is lounging with some friends. He jumps into the water and sits at the bottom of the lake, remembering his family. When he returns home later in the day, Nik (Golshifteh Farahani), is waiting for him. They have a big job. He is to extract an Indian kid.

Nik tells him that it is a drug lord’s kid and he has been snatched by a rival drug lord. It could get complicated. The job is in Dhaka. Tyler takes the job. Nik knows that Tyler has a bit of a death wish. Nobody else would have taken such a dangerous assignment. Tyler says he needs the money, though it is obvious that he does not.

He and others that make up the team, meet up for a briefing of the job. Tyler goes to Dhaka and acts as the negotiator, getting taken by the kidnappers to the where they are holding Ovi. He tells them he wants proof of life before they receive any payment. The kidnappers show Tyler that Ovi is alive and unharmed.

As they take Tyler back to go and get the ransom, the team begin to take the kidnappers out. Tyler storms the room and kills all of the men holding Ovi. He takes the boy into his care. Elsewhere in Dhaka, on a rooftop, a group of frightened boys are being questioned by one of Amir’s thugs. He grabs one of the boys and throws him off of the roof. He returns to the cowering group. Who stole the money? One of the boys puts his hand up.

The boy, Farhad (Suraj Rikame), says that the boy who stole the money was the boy he threw off the roof. An amused Amir, who had been watching on, calls him over. He tells the other boys that Farhad is smart and knows how to think on his feet. He hands a penknife to Farhad and tells him to cut off two of his fingers.

Farhad asks why. He tells him that the boy who stole his money is dead and he wants a walking reminder of what happens to anyone who steals money from him. Before Farhad can carry out the gruesome task, Amir is interrupted by Colonel Shadek (Shataf Figar). The boy has been taken back.

Amir tells him to shut down the city. Tyler takes Ovi to a car and they change into combat gear. He begins to take him to a boat that they are to meet. He records the boy on his mobile so as the client knows that he is alive. He sends the message to Nik.

Nik and her team are tracking the operation remotely and receive Tyler’s video. They inform the client. The money is to be transferred in seven minutes. On the boat they are meeting, the two men waiting for them get killed. One of the team, who is watching the boat gets killed. The money has not been sent. The base of operations sees the police closing on Tyler’s position. Nik warns him. Tyler is forced to change his plan and go back towards the car. Saju is also after the boy and attacks Tyler. Not trusting who he is, Tyler takes Ovi away in the car.

Chased by both Saju and the corrupt police department, Tyler shoots and fights his way to safety across Dhaka. As they rest, he contacts Nik. She tells him that Ovi Sr. does not want to pay and that he should leave the boy and escape. He ends the call. Ovi, having overheard the call, asks him if he is going to leave him. Tyler tells him he is not.

Saju checks into a motel and contacts his family. He wants to speak to his son, the magnitude of the task he is facing apparent to him after the day he has had. Tyler gets a call. There is a helicopter for him at the edge of town if he can get there. He wakes Ovi up. As they go to leave, they are attacked by Farhad and a group of boys.

Tyler slaps them about a bit but does not kill any of them. He gets picked up by a friend, Gaspar (David Harbour), who tells him they can stay with him for the night before they travel. Farhad goes to see Amir. He gives him one of his fingers and says he wants to be the one to kill Tyler because he embarrassed him.

Tyler tells an inquisitive Ovi about his life and his son’s death. He had been absent when his son died and is ridden with guilt. Tyler and Gaspar drink and chat. Gaspar asks him what does he plan to do once he gets the boy back. Gaspar tells him that the boy has a large bounty on him and they could split it. They only have to kill him.

Tyler and Gaspar fight. Ovi is woken by the fighting and comes down the stairs. He shoots Gaspar who was about to kill Tyler. Tyler realises that he cannot do the job alone. He calls Saju. They meet the next morning and he gives Ovi to him and tells him he will take care of the roadblocks. They set off. Amir and the colonel watch the battle unfolding from afar.

Nik and some of the crew come to meet Tyler at the extraction point. As the two men wage separate battles to clear a path to the extraction point, Nik and her crew are helping as they arrive at the extraction point. Saju, who has Ovi in tow, is forced to get out of the vehicle they have. As they make their way to the extraction point, with Saju killing and fighting the whole way, they get separated.

Soju gets killed by a sniper bullet. The colonel is shooting from a distance away. One of Nik’s crew gets killed by the colonel. Nik, who also has a gun with a scope, looks for the shooter. Tyler reaches the bridge, near the extraction point but is wounded by there colonel. Nik sees him and kills him. Ovi finds Tyler. Tyler tells him to head to the extraction point. Tyler steels himself to kill the last few soldiers.

He kills the last few soldiers he sees and turns to come back to Nik. He is shot in the neck by Farhad. He falls off of the bridge into the river. Nik and Ovi get to the extraction point and escape. Eight months later and Ovi’s life is back to normal. Amir is still riding high in Dhaka. He goes to the bathroom. He sees Nik, whom he had never met, smiles at her because she is attractive. She shoots him dead.

Ovi jumps into a swimming pool and sits at the bottom. Something makes him think he needs to go to the surface. He looks to his right and a man who looks like Tyler is in the distance. The end.

Extraction is an entertaining thriller that blazes through its just over one hundred minute runtime. With Hemsworth the best-known name in the cast taking the lead role, he ably fills the role and physicality of the highly capable Tyler. Extraction is a thriller by the numbers, with no surprises. Not that it is a problem.

One of the strengths of the film is that you know what is going to happen. There is no working out of the plot, it is set in the first ten minutes and the action just ramps up from then on. Exactly how a thriller should be.

There is even humour when Tyler comes against Farhad and his boys and pathos when he is shot near the end. Written by Joe Russo – we know that name! – and directed by Sam Hargrave, Extraction has good performances from all concerned and the action scenes are excellent.

Truth be told, Extraction is basically the same as the much more linear and superior Denzel Washington starrer of 2004, Man on Fire, with a few more people fighting to save the child. That being said, it is not a detriment to have a similar plot to that highly entertaining film of 2004 and Extraction is entertaining and worth a watch.

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