By Chris “Boogie” Brown
“Extraction 2” is the sequel to the surprise Netflix hit from 2021, which became one of the streaming platform’s most-watched original films in its first month. Written by Joe Russo and directed by Sam Hargrave, this explosive sequel aims to raise the stakes and ramp up the action in every way imaginable.
Chris Hemsworth returns as Tyler Rake, a mercenary for hire who miraculously survived the events of the first film but still carries the scars of his injuries. After relocating to Austria, Rake hopes to heal, settle down, and enjoy a peaceful retirement.
Unfortunately, Rake’s tranquility is short-lived as he is approached once again for a dangerous mission: rescuing his ex-wife’s sister and her two children, who are being held captive by a Georgian crime boss. Driven by his emotional attachment, Rake agrees to undertake this extraction mission and enlists the help of his teammates, “Nik” (Golshifteh Farahani) and “Yaz” (Adam Bessa).
Together, this trio embarks on a challenging rescue operation, but the task ahead won’t be easy. They come face to face with the unhinged Georgian Crime Boss “Davit,” his menacing Brother “Zurab,” and their legion of henchmen, who are determined to stop Rake and his team at any cost. While there are additional details to the story, this framework sets the stage for the thrilling action-packed adventure that awaits.
“Extraction 2” delivers an exhilarating experience from start to finish. Director Sam Hargrave, a veteran stuntman and coordinator, significantly amplifies the action in this sequel, resulting in impressive and intense sequences that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Hargrave’s unique shots, framing, clean transitions, and use of practical effects present the action with a hard-hitting, bone-crunching dynamism while maintaining a polished cinematic flair. The film features three major action set pieces, one in each of its acts, and all of them are highly entertaining. Notably, the first set piece is an incredible 25-minute “long take” scene expertly edited to appear as one continuous shot.
This scene begins with a violent prison break, transitions into a thrilling car chase, escalates into a heart-pounding foot chase, and culminates in a gripping train sequence where the action reaches new heights. While certain transitions are cleverly timed, the scene as a whole will leave action fans in awe. At times, cinematographer Greg Baldi employs a “first-person” perspective, providing a glimpse from Tyler Rake’s vantage point and adding another layer of immersion to the claustrophobic action.
Regarding the actors, the supporting cast delivers solid performances, but this is ultimately Chris Hemsworth’s show. Hemsworth proves himself as one of the best modern-day action stars in the genre, clearly enjoying his role as “Tyler Rake.” He embodies the physicality required for this grueling character, handles most of the elaborate stunts, and executes the film’s complex fight choreography exceptionally well. Overall, Hemsworth convincingly portrays the hardened and weathered mercenary, leaving audiences eager for more of his portrayal.
“Extraction 2” is a thrilling, action-packed adrenaline ride that I thoroughly enjoyed. The film benefits from a larger budget and a stronger supporting cast, and the scope of the action scenes is more elaborate and grand in scale. Although the plot has a generic nature and the villains, while menacing, adhere to standard action film tropes, there is an emotional component tied to the family element. Nevertheless, the primary draw of this film lies in its incredible action, which does not disappoint.
Director Sam Hargrave and lead actor Chris Hemsworth showcase a unique chemistry that perfectly suits these films and will leave audiences eager for more. If you’re a fan of the action genre and seeking high-octane thrills and entertainment, I highly recommend checking out “Extraction 2.” It is now available for streaming on Netflix. Enjoy!