Onto the next release of the weekend and I finished watching the new English film Extraction 2 which is second in the part of the Extraction franchise. When it comes to action entertainers, the few films that pop up are the films in the John Wick franchise, the Die Hard series and The Raid franchise. There is a thin line between delivering mindless action entertainers and actually doing them well. It is a rather technical genre that is enhanced often by the emotions that that lead up to the high octane action sequences.
I happened to watch Extraction during the first lockdown primarily because it did star Randeep Hooda along with Chris Hemsworth. And I was blown away by the tension that was created in the drama that aided the action set pieces beautifully. I was glued to the drama during its entire duration but the ending featuring Tyler, the character of Chris Hemsworth supposedly dying did dilute my adrenaline rush. But surprise surprise, the makers did announce Extraction 2 and I was the happiest anticipating another kickass action thriller like its predecessor. And now that I have finished watching Extraction 2, here are my two cents on the same!
Story & Screenplay
Extraction 2 picks up from the same point where Extraction had ended, and it follows the story of the now alive Tyler Rake who is assigned another mission of extracting his ex-wife’s sister and her children from the deadliest prison on the planet. Does he succeed?? The story here is essentially a one-liner having an even slender plot as compared to its predecessor. This was one of my fears given how the Russo brothers had earlier fished out a damp squib in the form of The Gray Man. But it is the screenplay standing at a shade above 2 hours(including the 15 minute end credits roll) that serves exactly what it had promised! Action and Entertainment guaranteed!
The drama does begin with the re-introduction of the protagonist who is rescued and still alive from his previous mission. The writers decide on kickstarting the world again that does feature the recuperation of the protagonist while sowing the seeds of a fresh new antagonist in a different part of the world. Soon, the protagonist is tasked with his mission that involves the rescue of a few ‘hostages’ from a dangerous prison. From here on, the popcorn entertainment begins and it the makers do not look back!
The proceedings are engrossing and entertaining especially the action set pieces that are integrated in the narrative. Extraction 2 is a rare case wherein there are no real emotions in play that would ideally have added soul to the action set pieces. Despite that, you are thoroughly invested in the action sequences that are distributed across the three acts of the film(with one set pieces featuring per act). The highlight of the film for me was the 21 minute one shot sequence that was absolutely brilliant and engaging to watch reeking with technical prowess. It was 21 minutes of high class entertainment especially with the action sequences in play which were unadulterated and devoid of any jump cuts!
The action sequences do not end there. The face-off between the protagonist and the antagonist particularly in the second act which was a part of the elaborate action sequence was enthralling to the core. The stakes are slightly raised in this sequence thus setting up things wonderfully well for the final act. Now as compared to the first Extraction where the tempo of the action sequences were slowly raised, reaching a crescendo in the final act, the sequence is exactly opposite here. The action set pieces begin on an explosive note with the intensity slowly dropping while being reduced to a whimper in the final act. This does make the final act a tad underwhelming and a little simplistic, but taking nothing away from the screenplay that delivers on what it had promised! Also, this time the things are nicely hyped up for Extraction 3 as well!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are adequate but the good part was that the lined were true to the area where the drama was set in that did add to the authenticity of the drama(particularly as the film had a direct OTT release). The BGM is pulsating and does enough to enhance the drama. Needless to say that the three unsung heroes in the technical department are the cinematography, the choreography of action set pieces and the editing, all of which were high class and absolutely brilliant! I am giving an additional half star to the film just for these aspects. Director Sam Hargrave does understand the pulse of the audience and he serves them exactly what the viewers had queued up for! He doesn’t try and cheat the viewers with jump cuts or even aid his drama with emotions. What he dishes out is 2 hours of pure fun and entertainment!
The performances are quite good here. Tinatin Dalakshvili as Ketevan is sincere and earnest, as is Adam Bessa as Yaz who has his moments to shine. Golshifteh Farahani as Nik is outstanding and definitely excels in multiple combat sequences. Tornike Gogrichiani as Zurab is menacing and a worthy antagonist who does a good job. Chris Hemsworth shines yet again as Tylar and he is unbelievably good in combat sequences. He owns every frame and delivers a knockout performance!
Extraction 2 is Leaner…Meaner…Stronger, a drama that will pump up your adrenaline levels with some high octane and technically sound action set pieces that will leave you dazed, gasping for more! Available on Netflix and Highly Recommended!