A bigger dad movie than the original, Extraction 2 is perfectly suited to be hitting Netflix on Father’s Day weekend. After all, this is the sort of film, and hey, now the sort of franchise, that dads really dig on. This is a big budget yet no frills action flick that prioritizes getting your blood pumping. The more your heart is racing, the less you’ll care about the thin characters, bare bones plot, and over the top nature of it all. You’ll just be concerned with if it’s fun. Well, this is a solid amount of fun, so mission accomplished.
Extraction 2 ups the ante from Extraction in almost every way possible. There’s more variety to the action, the locations, and who’s doing the fighting. Whereas the first one almost is lean and mean by comparison, this is a globe-hopping adventure, almost more befitting a spy film than an action thriller. It works though, almost by sheer force of momentum.
Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) lives! Presumed dead at the end of the first one, he’s recovered by teammates Nik Khan (Golshifteh Farahani) and Yaz Khan (Adam Bessa). Left to heal and lick his wounds, he’s quickly recruited by a shadowy figure (Idris Elba) for a new job, this one coming from none other than his ex-wife (Olga Kurylenko). The job? Rescue the family of a gangster, as they’re being held with him at the Georgian prison he occupies. Easy enough, right? Well…
The team infiltrates the prison and takes Ketevan Radiani (Tinatin Dalakishvili), along with her children Nina (Mariami Kovziashvili and Marta Kovziashvili) and Sardo (Andro Japaridze). It’s a messy job, however, resulting in a major prison riot. Moreover, it puts them on the radar of the gangster’s brutal brother Zurab (Tornike Gogrichiani), who swears vengeance. So, a chase begins, with lives hanging in the balance.
Chris Hemsworth is kicking major ass here. There isn’t a ton of depth to the role, but he adds a bit more to the character than last time. He’s the highlight and through line, so as long as you’re into what he’s doing, you’re on safe ground. Hemsworth is doing a throwback to the 80s action hero era and he’s quite good at it. Adam Bessa and Golshifteh Farahani are solid, if unexceptional, while Tornike Gogrichiani is a pretty garden variety villain. As for Idris Elba, one supposes he’ll play a bigger part in a presumed third installment. Supporting players include the aforementioned Tinatin Dalakishvili, Andro Japaridze, Mariami Kovziashvili, Marta Kovziashvili, and Olga Kurylenko, as well as Daniel Bernhardt, George Lasha, among others.
Director Sam Hargrave, working from a script by Joe Russo, Ande Parks, and Anthony Russo, is all about the action here. Things progress from one set-piece to the next, though arguably he kicks things off with the biggest. The initial action sequence, which runs 21 minutes and is presented as one shot, is fairly stunning. It’s not just the fight choreography, but how it transitions to involve guns, vehicles, and explosives. By the time it concludes, you’re as out of breath as Hemsworth is. Arguably, nothing else matches that here, but there’s also not a ton of time to relax in between new fistfights and shootouts. It’s not deep, and Sandro is a deeply annoying character, but as action epics go, this is pretty fun.
Extraction 2 isn’t trying to reinvent the action movie wheel, but Netflix definitely has a franchise on their hands. Tyler Rake isn’t necessarily the next Ethan Hunt, but watching him get folks out of harm’s way, while causing major harm to others, it certainly scratches a cinematic itch. High art this is not, but entertainment? It sure is.