Chris Hemsworth’s new action movie Extraction only dropped on Netflix yesterday, but it already seems to have grabbed the public’s imagination in a big way. Fans have been giving it huge praise on social media, and with millions of people around the world still facing restrictions on movement due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it looks set to rack up a massive number of viewers and become another huge hit for the streaming platform.
While there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking or original about Extraction from a narrative standpoint, with the script marking both Joe Russo’s first solo screenplay credit and the first for either of the brothers since 2002’s Welcome to Collinwood, the movie lives and breathes by the action sequences, with director Sam Hargrave following in the footsteps of John Wick’s David Leitch and Chad Stahelski by making the transition from stunt coordinator to orchestrator of expertly-choreographed set-pieces look easy.
It also marks Hemsworth’s first genuine attempt at playing an old-school action hero, with the actor in almost every frame and forced to bear the brunt of the hard-hitting and brutally violent fights that make up almost the entirety of Extraction’s 117 minute running time. Unsurprisingly, the Thor star admitted in a recent interview that the intricate nature of the wall-to-wall action made it the most exhausting role of his entire career, saying:
“I didn’t want to just do a straight-up action film. I wanted to do action unlike anything I’d ever done before, which this required. It was a level of complexity and exhaustion that was very new.”
The 36 year-old is no stranger to getting his hands dirty in fight scenes, but his signature role in the MCU, along with the short-lived Huntsman franchise and Men in Black: International, allowed the visual effects team to pick up a lot of the slack. But there’s nowhere for the leading man to hide in a gritty mid-budget actioner like Extraction.