Like your sainted grandmother almost certainly used to say, there’s nothing better than an insipidly violent piece of trash to restore your faith in cinema. Extraction 2 is exactly the kind of movie she was talking about. Make no mistake: the script is mostly trash, the performances are merely adequate, it’s overlong and expository, and the whole thing is mostly a clothesline for action scenes. But what action scenes these are.
Let’s get the junk out of the way first. If you saw the first Extraction, you’d probably remember Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth), the exquisitely named master operator and nigh-unstoppable killing machine. When last we saw Tyler, he’d taken a few bullets and fallen off a bridge into a river in Mumbai, through which he’d been tearing a swath of destruction in the process of rescuing some kid or something, who cares. Having been rescued by his fellow mercenaries — brother-and-sister team Nik (Golshifteh Farahani) and Yaz (Adam Bessa) — before being miraculously restored to life and methodically returned to (mostly) peak condition, he’s about to enjoy his retirement in the middle of nowhere with his chickens.
But not so fast — a shady dude named Alcott (Idris Elba) shows up one day with a proposition. One last job. The client is, absurdly, Tyler’s estranged wife, Mia (Olga Kurylenko). Mia’s sister is, even more absurdly, the wife of a Georgian cartel leader who’s holding her and their children against their will in a Russian prison so as to “protect” them. Yikes! Tyler, Nik, and Yas are gonna go in and snatch them from the prison and bring them home safe. It’s so stupid it just might work.
That initial extraction sequence comes about 25 minutes into this overstuffed behemoth, and it is one of the most truly delightful litanies of bodily harm ever put in front of your eyeballs. A 21-minute, faux-single-take monster that begins in a jail cell, moves through a full-on prison riot, turns into a car chase, and finally exhausts itself with a massive runaway train vs. helicopter extravaganza. Tyler kills multiple people with a riot shield. He jams a massive metal spike into a guy’s neck, but only after nearly ripping the guy’s hand in fucking half (so sick!). He beats up a bunch of dudes while on fire. He shoots down multiple helis with a light machine gun. And that’s only the beginning. In later sequences you will witness Tyler Rake kill a guy by crushing him with free weights, shooting a guy on a motorcycle with a grenade launcher — and that’s setting aside the literally hundreds he merely shoots or stabs. There’s a part where he single-handedly decimates a small airfield. There will be people that say this is too much or that it becomes monotonous. Those people are assholes who hate fun, so don’t listen to them and block their number.
Director and longtime stunt performer Sam Hargrave knows exactly how to deliver jolt after jolt to your lizard brain. The action is superbly choreographed. The aforementioned 21-minute “oner” may not be seamless, but it is ingeniously strung together. The violence is bloody and graphic, and the whole endeavor is dedicated to the glee of watching bodies get maimed. The only thing out there that’s on this level formally is, of course, the John Wick series. But those films are elegant and elaborate and gorgeous; they’re sleekly loaded with metatext and humor. Extraction 2 is, like Rake himself, a giant blunt-force killing machine with absolutely nothing on its mind — well, nothing good anyway. There’s a boring thread about Rake’s past with his ex-wife, the death of their child, and his unwillingness to get close to people. You can skip those parts. Instead, just keep going back to the part where he annihilates a room full of bad guys with the shape charge he also uses to blow the lock on a steel door. They should make one of these every year so that by the time Extract10n comes out the whole movie is just one long single-take action sequence with no talking. God I love this.
You can currently stream Extraction 2 on Netflix.
Published as part of InRO Weekly — Volume 1, Issue 24
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