Extraction 2 (2023)

Extraction 2 (2023)

A run-of-the-mill thriller punctuated by visceral, breathtaking action set pieces

6.9

Movie

Austria, United States of America
Bengali, English, French
Action, Thriller
2023
SAM HARGRAVE
Adam Bessa, Andro Japaridze, Chris Hemsworth
122 min

TLDR

There is so much action in these action scenes, it's no wonder the movie's called Extra...action.

What it's about

Things once again go awry as mercenary Tyler Rake returns to the field to rescue a mother and her two children from a Georgian prison.

The take

More streamlined and more technically ambitious than its predecessor, yet even less interested in developing an interesting setting or characters, Extraction 2 takes the most predictable route available for an action sequel. The first film's attempts to center its narrative on the unnecessary loss of life of children is nothing but an inconsequential footnote in this movie—which gestures toward the same ideas but never actually allows its already generic characters to be emotionally affected by anything.

So thank goodness that Extraction 2's action is so frequently fun to watch, proudly wearing its influences from movies like The Raid, and from the most relentless of video game set pieces. There's genuine inspiration behind how creative and how brutal the violence can get here, brought to life by crisp sound design and production design that the characters can constantly interact with. So while all the halfhearted character work doesn't give the action any extra weight, the action on its own is already so dynamic, that every set piece is still worth the wait.

What stands out

There is an action sequence here that's been made to look like a single, continuous, 21-minute-long shot—and it's a glorious achievement, practically a short film all on its own. As more and more action movies indulge in "oners," there is a danger that these kinds of set pieces might simply be reduced into endurance tests, or meaningless showboating from the filmmakers. But this massive sequence from Extraction 2 manages to be thoroughly exciting, frantic, and incredibly varied in the action it employs. Escalating from a prison, to a car chase, to a moving train, it's a hell of a statement from director Sam Hargrave about what he can bring to the action genre.

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