Ever since Keanu declared loud “I’m back” in the first John Wick, there have been many copycats for the hard-core heavily stylized gun and fight stunt coordination films (many directed by former stuntmen including this film). At the height of the pandemic, Netflix released Extraction. Written by Joe Russo (of the Russo Bros and Marvel fame) and directed by stuntman Sam Hargrave (in his directorial debut), Extraction was full on nonstop, pulse-pounding action and had one hell of a single-take fight scene. It showed that Chris Hemsworth would have a blockbuster career beyond being Thor in the Marvel movies and Netflix had a hit on their hands. It’s no surprise that Netflix would quickly greenlight a sequel Extraction 2, even though it wasn’t clear if Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake was even alive by the end of the original.
Don’t worry, Extraction 2 starts revealing that despite Tyler getting shot, stabbed, and everything in between in the original film, it’s revealed that he survived… barely. After recuperating back to health Tyler is rehabbed and enjoying “retirement” from his work as a mercenary. His partner Nik Kahn (Golshifteh Farahani) set him up with a cabin to enjoy himself in solitude. However, one day he is approached by Alcott (Idris Elba) who recruits him for a job. Turns out Tyler’s ex-wife Mia (Olga Kurylenko) has a sister Ketevan (Tinatin Dalakishvili) who happens to be married to a Georgian mobster and after being sent to prison, the mobster with all his political connections has his wife and children sent to the prison “for their protection,” and it’s up to Tyler to go into the prison to break them out.
The prison break in Extraction 2 is fantastic! Director Sam Hargrave shows that the impressive filming of the fight sequences and that awesome one-take shot in the first movie is no fluke. This time a full 21 minutes of nonstop carnage, plenty of John Wick-styled gun-fu, and even helicopter vs minigun on a train shooting spree. Some of the “hidden cuts” are glaringly obvious, but cinematographer Greg Baldi keeps the adrenaline pumping during the escape sequence. However, getting out is only the beginning. Now that they are out, they are being chased by Uncle Zurab (Tornike Gogrichiani) and countless numbers of their “Nagazi” army. Extraction 2 knows you’re here for the action, so it keeps moving from one setpiece to the next and giving you your fill of just insane fun action. Both Golshifteh Farahani and Adam Bessa expand their roles of Nik and Yaz Kahn, brother and sister members of Tyler’s mercenary crew.
Extraction 2 does have a few moments where it slows things down and gives insight into Tyler Rake’s mind, his relationship with his ex-wife, and his relationship with Nik Kahn. Hemsworth of course can do dramatic work and for the most part, it works, but honestly, we know what we are here for. It’s the fun Russo’s styled hardcore action, and Extraction 2 completely delivers on that front! It also helps that Tornike Gogrichiani is an engaging and charismatic villain. He not only orders the henchmen to do crazy stuff in battle, but he’s there in lockstep with them.
There is one weak link in the story and that pertains to Sando (Andro Jafaridze) one of the children being rescued, but he’s infatuated with his father’s criminal lifestyle. There were numerous moments in the film where he was just as stupidly annoying as Tariq was in the early seasons of Starz’s Power. And it’s not actor Andro Jafaridze’s fault as he does a great job playing a confused teen, but his actions create so many unnecessary moments that screw things up for the good guys. Editing his character arc down to not do so many stupid mistakes might have served the film better.
Overall, Extraction 2 does exactly what it means to do. We have Hemsworth being a bonafide action hero who kicks all sorts of ass efficiently in this new age of highly stylized well-choreographed action films. And with the ending revealing that there’s a bigger story to tell in this world, don’t be surprised if Netflix announces a sequel in the immediate future.
Extraction 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.