Remember when Bruce Willis used to make interesting, original movies, like Pulp Fiction, Twelve Monkeys and The Fifth Element? An air of excitement would surround each announcement detailing which project the actor would get involved with next. It’s been some time since that excitement has been felt, however, because Willis has essentially been making the same movie, repeatedly, for years. The next product from that assembly line will be Extraction, directed by Steven C. Miller (Silent Night).
The plot focuses on a father and son duo of – wait for it – CIA agents, with Willis as the seasoned elder operative who is traumatized by the – you guessed it – murder of his wife. His less-experienced CIA operative son is working with him on the manufacture of a super-weapon known as the Condor, but is thrust into the driving seat when his father, Willis, is kidnapped by terrorists. As he realizes that the CIA has no intention of rescuing his father, the younger operative must step up and get the job done – but not without uncovering a life-altering conspiracy first, of course.
The film is apparently due to begin shooting in Alabama on February 9th, though we have no further news on the wider casting. A U.S distribution deal is in place with Lionsgate/Grindstone, and Highland Film Group will package it for international sale at Berlin next month. It is co-produced by Tim Sullivan (Maskerade), Brandon Grimes (2 Guns) and Gus Furla (The Prince).
Extraction is written by apparent newcomer Umair Aleem, who has delivered a plot that seems to come straight from the Hollywood storytelling jigsaw puzzle box. We start with a father and son, slot in the CIA, tack on some destructive hardware with a patriotic-sounding name, add a kidnapping, and frame the whole thing within a conspiracy. Let’s not forget the all-important ‘brutalized woman as a plot device’ that is a staple of many a Hollywood cookie-cutter movie.
Willis’ fascination with the CIA (The Expendables, RED, RED 2, A Good Day To Die Hard) is almost as productive as his apparent love of tales involving kidnapping and hostages. Bandits, The Whole Ten Yards, Hostage, 16 Blocks, The Cold Light Of Day, Fire With Fire, The Prince – then there is his most recent film, which is actually called Captive. All things considered, until we hear of the names of the talent that will fill out the rest of the cast, it seems there is sadly little of interest when it comes to Extraction – a movie title that doubles as a description of the screenwriting method apparently used.