Extraction 2 Review: The Action Gets Bigger and Stakes More Personal for Tyler Rake
Netflix has brought back their action star for Extraction 2 as Chris Hemsworth reprises his role after surviving the events of the previous film. The era of 90s action stars may be over, although we still see the likes of Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger still being action heroes to this day with Fubar and Expendables 4 but we see this new generation getting their own addition to the genre with John Wick seeing Keanu Reeves in endless gun-fu battles and now, Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake coming back for more urban warfare.
The synopsis reads:
After barely surviving the events of the first movie, Rake is back as the Australian black ops mercenary, tasked with another deadly mission: rescuing the battered family of a ruthless Georgian gangster from the prison where they are being held.
The film not only sees Hemsworth leading the charge but also was produced and co-written by Joe and Anthony Russo who had their hand in the MCU’s The Winter Soldier and Infinity War with Sam Hargrave at the helm. The cast is rounded out with the talents of Golshifteh Frahani, Adam Bessa, Tornike Gogrichiani, Tornike Bziava, Tinatin Dalakishvili, and Idris Elba.
This was the formula that delivered the sensational first film. The Russo Brothers are no strangers to being the architects of phenomenal projects and Hargraves’ long history as a stunt coordinator delivered street-level action that elevated Hemsworth into a next-level action star.
Extraction 2 brought action on a bigger scale and delivered more of the close-quarter gunplay we saw before along with plenty of scenes of hand-to-hand combat that was beautifully choreographed and delivered some very brutal executions. Many including gym equipment oddly enough.
What sets apart the sequel is the personal touch and work on humanizing Rake which was a focal point of the film. This isn’t just another mission for Rake as he has a personal stake in the mission and bringing along his team which he is closely connected to added layers of emotional baggage Rake carried while trying to complete his mission. This may not work for everyone but it was a change of pace that I did not expect but appreciated instead of it being just another mission for a payday.
What is sure to be one of many viewers’ favorite scenes and quite possibly one of the greatest put-together action scenes is the prison break. Cut into one single take, the scene is cut into one 21-minute segment of Rake kicking ass during a full-blown prison riot.
Although it was digitally stitched together, it still makes for one impressive sequence that sees Rake make his way from the prison, through the prison riot, delivering a brutal blow to a prisoner’s face with a dumbbell and full-blown warfare as they flee by car and onto a moving train which only leads to more close quarter action and a fight against terrorist helicopters. It is an unrealistically entertaining scene that will keep you on the edge of your seat and gives you every type of action you can ask for.
The film might be hit with a downfall in most people’s opinion as they packed almost an hour of exhilarating action at the beginning of the film as it picks up right after the events of the first film and quickly leads to bullets flying and explosions and the film then sees itself start to catch its breath and put some flesh on these characters. Some might not like the drastic change of pace but in my opinion, it was a much-needed breather to build the narrative, and using the story being told as a focal point, it played out as it should have.
As entertaining as the gunplay was in the Georgian urban landscape, the Russo Brothers had a story to tell and it was one that was set to give Rake character growth as this involved his family from his past and his current one being his team. This might not be the most popular opinion about how they handled the sequel but we needed to care about Rake and these characters in my opinion, especially with the end of the film all but confirming more sequels are on the way.
Overall, Extraction 2 might not be as big of a banger as the previous film, but if the Russo Brothers have a big picture in mind, which it seems as if they do given the setup at the end of the film, then this is a great next step. The first film showed us he can kick ass and that he is good at his job. Extraction 2 showed us that even being near death and close to retiring, he still has what it takes and then we see the humanization of Rake and we see what makes him tick.
This could be the start of a respectable B-action movie franchise led by Hemsworth. And at worst, you can sit back and enjoy the film knowing that you will experience 21 minutes of pure action which should be enough to propel the film past any negative feelings you may have about it.
Extraction 2 will stream exclusively on Netflix tomorrow, June 16, 2023.