Original Content podcast: Netflix’s ‘Extraction’ inflicts brutal action on forgettable characters

If you think that action movies generally suffer from an excess of characterization, then “Extraction” is the movie for you.

Almost everything about the film that’s not an action scene is dealt with in a perfunctory way, starting from the sketchy characterization of our hero Tyler Rake (played by Chris Hemsworth) — he’s muscular, good at killing people, has a vague tragedy in his past … and that’s about it.

Yet we know more about Rake than virtually any other character in the film. There’s even less to say about the kidnapped son of a Mumbai drug lord (though actor Rudhraksh Jaiswal gives him an affecting vulnerability), or the rival drug lord responsible for the kidnapping, or the various soldiers/goons who either assist Rake in his rescue mission or (briefly, foolishly) try to stop him.

On the bright side, this minimalist approach to scripting leaves plenty of room for impressive action scenes, particularly a 12-minute chase that’s designed to look like it was shot in a single take. To be clear, the film is just as much a fantasy as any of the Marvel movies directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo (who took on writing and producing duties here), but the approach is very different, with a stunning brutality and kineticism.

Whether that’s enough to make for a satisfying film will probably differ from viewer to viewer. Among your Original Content podcast hosts, Darrell and Anthony had a good time, while Jordan was decidedly underwhelmed.

To decide whether “Extraction” is a movie for you, you can listen to our review in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:20 “Extraction” review
18:31 “Extraction” spoiler discussion