With Netflix’s Extraction, Marvel filmmakers Anthony and Joe Russo continue to produce thrilling action fodder while taking fairly green directors under their wings.

The same formula that was applied to last year’s surprise 21 Bridges plays just as well with Extraction, even though it runs a little too close to being a direct copycat.  Many of Extraction’s characters share the same archetypes as those in 21 Bridges (including the film’s wildcard, tough-as-nails lead), and the story’s narrative is just as condensed;  featuring a tightly-packed mission carried over a brief timeline.  However, Extraction finds its own legs to stand on by entertaining audiences with its special technical expertise and gritty combat.

Stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave takes the reigns as Extraction’s director.  Making his directorial debut, Extraction is the ideal project for Hargrave and his ability to coordinate.  He certainly shows his aptitude and leadership through the film’s choreography – there isn’t a single missed beat during any of these fights.  The violence is in the same creative vein as the John Wick series, even going as far as using unconventional objects as weapons (as seen in Parabellum), but the execution and brutality is more in tune with the frenetic Crank series;  having its stunts emphasize the struggle of a rescue mission that’s becoming exhaustingly stressful with each fight.  A notion that’s first revealed during a breathtakingly choreographed and amazingly edited “one shot” chase sequence.

A more collaborative effort comes from Joe Russo’s screenplay (adapting a comic he co-wrote), which receives additional help from the film’s actors.  Role characterization from Russo is light all-around, but he does a good job establishing what motivates his characters.  Even a primary character who gives off villainous vibes is given moments of empathy.  The characters are further fleshed out by great performances; especially Chris Hemsworth who is gripping as a mercenary with a death wish and Randeep Hooda who plays that aforementioned antagonist.

Extraction is a wild ride.  It may be Netflix’s most bombastic action title to date, but it satisfies in spades.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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