Saturday 11 November 2023

Movie Review: Extraction 2 (2023)

Genre: Action
Director: Sam Hargrave
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani
Running Time: 123 minutes

Synopsis: After recuperating from his previous mission, independent mercenary and rescue specialist Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is hired by his ex-wife Mia via a mysterious intermediary (Idris Elba). Mia wants Tyler to rescue her sister Ketevan (Tinatin Dalakishvili) and nephew Sandro from the clutches of Sandro's incarcerated father Davit in the country of Georgia. Tyler teams up with his associate Nik (Golshifteh Farahani) and her brother Yaz (Adam Bessa) to infiltrate the prison and rescue the family, but Sandro's uncle Zurab leads the ruthless Nagazi syndicate and mobilizes his considerable forces to thwart the mission.

What Works Well: The high-quality gritty action, realistic locations, and Chris Hemsworth's cool presence all return for another effective round of bone-crunching, terrain-destroying mayhem. Director Sam Hargrave raises the bar on his single-shot wizardry with a jaw-dropping, physics-defying 21 minute sequence that starts at a prison, progresses to a car chase through the forest, and ends on a getaway train, with several helicopters thrown in for good measure. Tidbits of character background and personal losses are thrown in to periodically re-focus attention on the people.

What Does Not Work As Well: Fully embracing a misguided more-is-better attitude, the action now routinely surrenders to excessive and over-the-top tendencies, with characters absorbing bullets and other lethal sharp objects like sponges and immediately bouncing back up for more. Most of the plot details make no sense, including a small army of Georgian thugs marching into central Vienna complete with airpower and rocket propelled grenades, and the bad guys seemingly happy to target the children they are supposedly desperate to reclaim.

Conclusion: Mindless but otherwise highly-polished and unstoppable entertainment.

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