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Extraction

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Behold the Conspicuous White Guy in Bangladesh

Synopsis: Australian mercenary goes to Bangladesh to free kidnap victim.

Chris Hemsworth aka Thor, can’t spend all of his time home in Australia surfing and sunning in Byron Bay. He’s an action movie superstar, so sometimes he needs to bone up on his fight choreography and head someplace “exotic” to film his one-man army films.

This time around, C Hems teams up with former stuntman and now director Sam Hargrave for an action procedural. We see formidably choreographed fight scene after fight scene. The hand-to-hand combat is impressive and protracted. Sometimes C Hems gets to take a break from killing men with his bare hands. Snap! Crunch! He crouches behind the flaming ruins of blown up vehicles and fires off thousands of rounds of fake ammunition. Pwew! Pwew! But he can’t rest for long because he needs to outrun the bad guys. He also has to outdrive them too. He hurtles along narrow city streets at breakneck speed. Fortunately, he doesn’t hit any bystanders, but he does cause the bad guys to drive into each other at regular intervals. Smash! At one point we see him careening along in a big delivery truck with evil doers hot on his heels, when he dives out of his seat and rolls onto the road’s shoulder. Ouch!

This all seems like a tough way to earn a living, especially since, when we are introduced to his character “Tyler Rake” his needs seem so simple. But he does seem like an adrenaline junkie…We see him sunbathing in the Australian outback – magnificent! –when suddenly he races to a cliff and dives into the waters about five stories below. YOLO! You can see that he is the sort of man who is not afraid of crocs or sunburn. But there is a hint of Zen beneath his mountainous exterior that we see when, after plunging into the waters, he sits yoga-style on the bottom for a bit. This Tyler Rake character has depth!

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A parched C Hems asks, “Did you grab us some extra Gatorade or Cheer Up?!”

I would have been content to see Chris Hems just going about his business in Australia, but any hope of that is dashed when “Tyler Rake” returns to his Outback shack for a late afternoon bottle of whiskey – as one does – to find a helicopter beside his place and a sultry, fit woman, Nik Khan (Golshifteh Farahani) waiting on him. He doesn’t look surprised because hey, he’s Chris Thor Hemsworth, and sultry, fit women line up to meet him. They used to work together at some Black Ops company and she has a new offer for him. And he might be the only man qualified to do the job…

This is where Extraction‘s “plot” kicks in. Joe Russo of Joe and Anthony Russo (who directed a slew of Avengers movies) adapted the screenplay from the graphic novel Ciudad. Here’s the plot in three seconds: Indian drug lord’s son is kidnapped by Bangladeshi drug lord’s gang. Mercenary hired to get him out of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

When C Hems gets to Dhaka, he needs to do some recon. I feel like blending in with the locals would have been a big help; as we all know, C Hems is a towering, fair-complected blonde. Perhaps the movie should have been subtitled Extraction: Conspicuous White Guy. In any event, he quickly tracks down the pre-teen, Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal). And, although he would rather not, in order to rescue Ovi, he has to kill the twenty or so armed guys guarding him. But now they have to get out of the city, to a pick-up point. And the drug lord will stop at nothing to salvage his ransom opportunity and humiliate his rival in India. Aiding him are legions of corrupt police and army officers. At first the kid thinks they are there to help. SMDH. His drug lord father would be so ashamed of his naivete. C Hems knows better.

Fortunately, our conspicuous mercenary possesses almost, shall we say, superhero abilities. Not quite like Thor though, because there is no hammer, just lots and lots of firearms. And grenades. The drug lord’s son happens to be a pretty nice kid, a lonely youngster who doesn’t feel “seen” by his father. Part of that is because his dad is away in prison. But also, because, as he tells C Hems, his father only sees him as a thing. Like the mercenary. But, in spite of the hundreds of crooked police and soldiers “Tyler Rake” has killed in Dhaka in 48 hours, we see that this literally wounded warrior might have a heart that is coming to life again as the kid quizzes the man about his life. And the causes of his psychic pain. And when C Hems, after bandaging his wounds and recharging his phone, takes a moment to reflect, we can tell he wants to be a better man by the way his brow furrows and his sky blue eyes regard the boy. He is probably also thinking of getting back to his Australian beachside compound and lovely family. But before that, he’s got thirty more fight scenes to film. Pow!!!

Movie Loon Movie Review Shortcut

Grade:   C+

Cut to the Chase: Perfect material for Chris Hemsworth gazing. Good fight choreography. But the killing and gun violence is excessive. Feather light plot and character development.

Humor Highlight: The pyscho Bangladeshi drug lord Amir (Priyanshu Painyuli) is like a Bond villain, sophisticated and vicious. And prone to amusing monologue-ing.

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