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(film review) [STREAMING] - Extraction 2

Straight out of the gate in 2020 when the entire world was told to stay home due to a global pandemic, Netflix dropped a movie called 'Extraction' starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, if you did not know the actor's name). It was at a time where there were no trips to the cinema, we could only rely on home entertainment and while Netflix has been pretty hit-and-miss when it comes to a lot of the products they put out, Extraction was another hit, like how 'The Old Guard' with Charlize Theoron was...well, it was decently received, at least. Whilst this might seem irrelevant now, but both 'John Wick', 'John Wick: Chapter 2' and 'John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum' was already out by then and taking the world by storm. A former hitman takes on a crime lord due to killing his dog. Riviting storyline, but it was nothing but action on top of action inside an action sandwich and it was very well praised and beloved by many. Those movies were directed by stuntmen, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. Whilst David Leitch has gone on to direct other movies (since the first John Wick), Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Nobody, Bullet Train and Violent Night, all films that have received some kind of praise due to the action and visuals, Sam Hargrave, another stuntman is responsible for both Extraction and Extraction 2, which leads me to this; there seems to be a new trend in Hollywood where a stuntman can act, stunt co-ordinate and pick up the camera to direct compelling movies that are not too deep on story, but can deliver a heavy punch or eight to the face, providing the audience with nothing but action in a way that many of us love and enjoy. So while Extraction was Sam's first feature movie...and it was really good, Sam raised the bar this time around and he simply made an even better sequel.

Extraction 2 picks up where the last one left off, and the story of Tyler Rake continues as a black ops mercenary who has been specifically selected to carry out a job which is very close to home for him. Tyler and his team must infiltrate a Georgian prison for an extraction, but in his way are two warring gangs and one of the leaders of the two gangs is a ruthless drug lord and has a personal army. Tyler just do this quietly, failure to do so, means he is likely to disrupt the prisoners and bring on a fight, likely die and fail his mission.

Surperb. You know when you are sitting/laying there watching a movie and then all of a sudden, you sit up as if the movie has commanded your undivided attention, like it never had it in the first place. There was a scene where someone was going to fall, but what the other person does to catch them made me sit up straight. It was a great moment, one of many in this movie. If you do not know already but I love a long take. A long take is where it seems as though the camera stays locked on the action covering many angles, following characters and not "cutting" to a different angle. This has been achieved in many films and TV shows, but I think I first recognised it in the first Netflix Daredevil season one taxi scene from inside the taxi where the camera turns in a 360 degree turn without cutting or again in Daredevil and the famous action-packed hallway scene. The Michael Keaton film Birdman (I think, from memory) is all one take too. The first extraction film achieved this as a car chase scene that started from a jungle and ended in a street fight. Without giving away too much, this long take starts from inside a prison and ends on a train. It is amazing to watch and a lot of the time I kept thinking, "How?" "How did they achieve that?" Moreover, we are simply looking at a video game at this point. The film was soo good, when the film finished, I was buzzing with excitement wondering if and when there will be a sequel. If a computer game developer would take this franchise up and develop a game to play on consoles and PC. Man like Tyler Rake, has simply shot up as one of my favourite action heroes next to John McClane and Ethan Hunt.

Sam Hargrave's directing is a work of art. I believe coming from a stuntman background allows him to see angles or action in ways others cannot, hence why the action in these films feel soo intense, gritty and gripping. The only franchise that comes remotely close to this franchise is, John Wick and The Raid. Even the TV show Gangs of London comes close to this but Extraction is something different entirely. No glamourous or beautiful shots, no or not many sequences where you have to suspend disbelief, everything feels real as if it could really happen and characters can actually die. Insane are the stunts, but we are not talking Fast and Furious type of stunts, you know? Sam levels up the story this time around with more characters and a complex situation that changes the dynamics of the characters involved. Without going into too much detail, but a character is disillusioned and thinks wholeheartedly that something is a certain way, but later faces the realisation that all is not what it seems. There is a "side character" from the first movie who returns with a bigger role in this and their scenes are excellent.

The action, superb. The cinematography, excellent. The pacing, swift. The music, good. The acting, great. There is even another actor who joins the franchise in whom was a surprise to me just like the first movie had a surprise actor in it as well. The stuntwork, top form and amazing, but what would you expect from a director who is a stunt co-oridnator. All in all, this franchise seems to be getting better and better with each outing and I sincerely hope, we do get a 3rd to leave us with a trilogy at least...unlike The Raid franchise that only gave us 2 great action-packed films. Make it a trilogy and we can mention it as part of the most underrated trilogies ever made. Oh, and watch them back to back, Extraction 1 and then 2.


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