The “Extraction” films, under the supervision and creative direction of the Russo Brothers renowned for their work in Marvel productions, exemplify a unique and infrequent category within modern filmmaking. These movies stand as high-budget, intensely violent escapades that deviate from the norm.
These movies follow the pattern of a tormented protagonist, embodying a variant of the prolific killer archetype who is reluctantly drawn back into a world of violence. In this article, we delve into the themes and unique qualities of the “Extraction” franchise, focusing on its central character, Tyler Rake, played by the talented Chris Hemsworth.
The “Sad Action Hero” Canon:
Critic Robert Brian Taylor has coined the term “The Sad Action Hero canon” to encompass films like the “Extraction” series. Tyler Rake joins the ranks of iconic characters such as John Rambo, Jason Bourne, and John Wick, each carrying the weight of a tragic past and grappling with grief. Hemsworth’s portrayal of Rake showcases his exceptional physicality, rivaling the likes of Schwarzenegger and Stallone while demonstrating a wider range as an actor. His performances reveal a mix of self-aware swagger and underlying melancholy, which the “Extraction” films explore.
Tyler Rake’s Buried Sadness:
Tyler Rake, a former Australian special forces soldier, has endured personal tragedies, including the loss of his son while serving in Afghanistan. The guilt stemming from his perceived failures as a husband and father drives the narrative of the “Extraction” franchise.
Much like amnesia in the “Bourne” films and mourning in the “John Wick” series. These movies serve as redemption stories, placing their heroes in action movie purgatories filled with flawed parental figures who mirror Tyler’s own self-destructive emotions.
Unveiling Tyler Rake’s Adventures:
The first “Extraction” film follows Tyler’s mission to rescue a kidnapped boy, entangled in a power struggle between Indian drug lords. In the sequel, an unnamed man delivers a message from Tyler’s ex-wife, a Georgian woman whose sister and children are held captive by her drug dealer husband and his ruthless brother. Tyler is hired to execute a daring prison break and protect the family. The film primarily comprises three exhilarating action sequences with glimpses of character development intertwined.
A Spectacular 21-Minute Continuous Action Sequence:
One standout element of the “Extraction” franchise is the 21-minute uninterrupted action sequence, reminiscent of a video game experience. Director Sam Hargrave, a former stunt coordinator, masterfully stitches together a visually striking “oner” that combines first-person and over-the-shoulder perspectives. As the scene unfolds, Tyler, accompanied by his allies Nik and Yaz, battles armed thugs on a moving train. Showcasing Hargrave’s ostentatious yet dazzling filmmaking style.
Homage to Classic Action Films:
The remaining sections of the film pay homage to action classics like “Die Hard” and John Woo’s doppelgänger-themed movies. While these sequences demonstrate imaginative execution and no-fuss virtuosity. They face the challenge of following the awe-inspiring jailbreak-to-railway sequence, which sets a high bar for adrenaline-fueled excitement.
Balancing Action and Characterization:
The franchise treads the line between grounding its military-themed adventures in reality and appeasing viewers seeking non-stop thrills. Though character development sometimes takes a backseat. The films strive to offer a level of substance beyond standard action tropes, resonating with a broad audience,