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Movies & TV

15th Jun 2023

REVIEW: Extraction 2 has some of the best action you’ll ever see

Rory Cashin

Extraction 2

Extraction 2 is the closest thing we’ve seen to a Call Of Duty movie.. and we mean that as a massive compliment.

It was only a matter of time before Extraction 2 arrived, between the first movie’s open-ended coda and the fact that 99 million households had streamed that first movie in its first four weeks of release back in 2020.

The sequel kicks off with Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) recuperating from his near-death experience, and living a somewhat quiet life in a lovely cabin in the middle of nowhere in Austria. That all goes away pretty quickly when a mystery man (Idris Elba) rocks up at his front door with a job for him, sent directly from Rake’s ex-wife Mia (Olga Kurylenko).

Mia’s sister Ketevan (Tinatin Dalakishvili) and her two young kids are being kept in a Georgian prison so they’re constantly within reach of Ketevan’s mob boss husband, and Mia wants Tyler to break in and break them out. Oh, and he’d better do it quietly, or he’ll have the entire mob hunting them down.

Of course, things don’t go according to plan, and over the movie’s two hour runtime, all hell breaks loose. Things kick off at a fairly sedate pace, as it is a full half hour before we get anything close to an action scene, but once they arrive…. hoo boy.

The opening salvo is a fifteen-minute “one take” that begins with a silent break-in at the prison and ends with Rake firing a mini-gun at a helicopter from the roof of a train. We barely get time to take a breath when the follow-up scene, set in and around and below and above a massive skyscraper in Vienna, brings to mind the wanton destruction of a huge set-piece from a Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare game.

The script by Joe Russo (one half of the brother duo behind Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame) is fairly threadbare, giving just enough emotional beats to allow us to register that, yes, Rake is a human being with human emotions, but not hanging around too long before he has to go give someone a flaming uppercut.

This is the latest addition to the visceral, impactful brand of action movies that are basically showing off what the action stars and their director/stunt co-ordinator are capable of. They range from the smaller, mostly hand-to-hand (or gun-to-gun) combat like in John Wick and Atomic Blonde, all the way up to big budget fare like the latest Mission: Impossible entries, and Extraction 2 pretty much lands right in the middle of that league.

Directed by Sam Hargrave (who, as it happens, was the stunt co-ordinator on Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame), Extraction 2 is constructed entirely around its attention-grabbing action sequences, each of which are sprinkled with a dozen or so individual moments of violence designed to get a guttural, “OH SHIT!” reaction from the audience.

And it totally works. If Extraction was an average movie with some good action, Extraction 2 is a good movie with some amazing action.

Extraction 2 is available on Netflix from Friday 16 June.

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