Cert 18 Stars 3
Thor star Chris Hemsworth uses his considerable bulk to batter his way through this blood-soaked and bullet-riddled action thriller which is terrific when it barrels along all guns blazing, but a little unsteady on its feet when it stops to pause for breath.
Forgoing his over-abundant charm and gift for comedy in favour of a no-holds barred intensity, Hemsworth plays a world weary mercenary called Tyler whose latest mission is to extract the teenage son of an Indian drug lord from the clutches of a rival drug baron in Dhaka, the densely populated capital of Bangladesh.
Tyler is fast on his feet and with his fists for a big man, he always brings a gun and grenades to a knife fight and he’s also pretty handy with a blade.
But as Tyler’s mission begins to transform into a repentance for a lifetime of killing and his failings as a father.
Extraction is produced by Joe and Anthony Russo, who wrote and directed Marvel blockbuster Avengers: Endgame, and is directed by their stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave.
He brings inventive flair and highly polished technical skill to the exhaustingly brutal and extraordinarily well-executed scenes of multiple slaughter.
Immersive and fluent camera work puts you in the heat of the brutal action, and there’s room for the script to reflect on cyclical nature of violence and how the sins of the fathers are visited upon their sons.
At its best it rivals Keanu Reeves’ John Wick films for relentless carnage, but lacks its unique otherworldly sense of time and place.
Plus the dialogue and plotting is functional at best, and I hope Hemsworth isn’t getting paid by the word.
Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani is underused as a rare female character but still manages to impose herself on proceedings, and if there’s a sequel then it would be great to see her take centre stage.