Wednesday 5 July 2023

REVIEW: Extraction 2 - Starring Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani and Adam Bessa

Review by Jon Donnis
For the life of me I don't recall seeing Extraction, yet it seemed to be well liked by people, so thought I would check out the sequel. Extraction 2 is an American action thriller film directed by Sam Hargrave and written by Joe Russo

After enduring a perilous ordeal during a previous mission in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tyler Rake (a former Australian SAS Operator turned black ops mercenary played by Chris Hemsworth) decides to retire from his mercenary profession and seek solace in a secluded cabin nestled in the Austrian countryside. It is there, amidst his efforts to recuperate, that Tyler's tranquillity is unexpectedly interrupted by the arrival of a stranger (Idris Elba). This individual implores Tyler for his assistance in a mission of utmost urgency, to rescue Ketevan (Tinatin Dalakishvili), the sister of his ex-wife Mia, and her two young children, Sandro (Andro Japaridze) and Nina (Marta Kovziashvili), from the clutches of danger in Georgia.

Ketevan's plight stems from her ill-fated marriage to Davit Radiani (Tornike Bziava), one of the co-founders of Georgia's most notorious crime syndicate. Davit's actions, including the heinous act of throwing a DEA agent off a bridge, have led to his imprisonment. The American authorities, determined to prevent any form of bribery, have placed immense pressure on the prison system. In a desperate bid to remain close to his family, Davit coerces Ketevan and her children to reside within the confines of the prison. However, the deplorable living conditions and Davit's abusive behaviour push Ketevan to reach out to Mia (Olga Kurylenko) for assistance.

Meanwhile, a governor, who was once under Davit's payroll, delivers a devastating blow to Zurab (Tornike Gogrichiani), Davit's brother. He informs Zurab that Davit's sentence has been extended by an additional ten years, leaving Zurab seething with anger. Determined to secure his brother's release, Zurab confronts the governor, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. The governor, fearing the wrath of the Americans, adamantly refuses to grant Davit any clemency. Driven to the brink of fury, Zurab takes matters into his own hands, exacting a grim retribution by eliminating the governor and his entourage of bodyguards.

Recognizing the gravity of the situation, Tyler enlists the aid of two trusted allies, Nik (Golshifteh Farahani) and Yaz (Adam Bessa), to form a formidable team. Together, they orchestrate a daring plan to infiltrate the heavily guarded prison, employing the assistance of a corrupt guard who can be swayed by a bribe. Chaos ensues when Davit, upon learning of the impending rescue, alerts the other prisoners, igniting a riot within the prison walls. Amidst the bedlam, Tyler and Ketevan must fight their way to safety, navigating through the maelstrom of violence.

With their unwavering determination, Tyler and Ketevan successfully find their path to an armoured train, where they manage to secure passage. Evading their pursuers, they make their way to a waiting plane, ensuring their escape from the clutches of Georgia's tumultuous underworld. Their journey culminates in the serene city of Vienna, where they hope to find respite from their harrowing ordeal and forge a new beginning.

This is a really action packed film, and some of the scenes are truly breathtaking when you start to examine them closely. For example getting Ketevan out of the prison and then a car chase and then on the train, it is filmed in such a way as if it is all one long shot, this is a good 25 minutes of the film, now obviously they have some clever edits which you will barely notice, but everything just looks incredible, there are some very clever visual effects and CGI used, which are barely noticeable, in fact if you are not really looking for them, you would never know they were in there, there are sweeping camera shots which you think must be done using a drone, but then the camera will fly through a moving car window, move to the back seat, turn round, go right in front of  Chris Hemsworth's face, and then after a hole is blown out of another window it will then go out that way, all done in one majestic shot, which I can only imagine the ways this was done, a great mixture of CGI, drone, crane cameras, all sorts. That one long scene you will really want to watch again, a true masterclass in filmmaking that is almost perfect and will leave you wondering "how the hell did they do that?"

As mentioned, I never saw the first film that I can remember, but I never felt that I needed to, which was good. Chris Hemsworth plays the strong action hero well here, very convincing as Tyler Rake, and the film sets up for an Extraction 3 to come in the future.

The Good
This film contains some of the best action scenes I have ever seen when it comes to cinematography and CGI, just jaw droppingly good.

The Bad
The incredible action scenes might just do enough to make you forget the slightly weak and unoriginal plot. Also at 1 hour 51 minutes, the film is at least 20 minutes too long. Some of the non action scenes are a bit dull.

I think I may have been slightly mesmerised by the action scenes and incredible visual effects, and as such may not have paid too much attention to the actual story, but I am an action fan so I don't care.

I enjoyed Extraction 2, a good old fashioned action film, no woke nonsense, just a simple story that is told in a fun and action packed way

I score Extraction 2 a solid 8/10

Extraction 2 is out now on Netflix, and you can also watch the first film at