On paper, the synopsis for Extraction made it sound virtually identical to the dozens of mid-budget actioners that get released every single year, and Chris Hemsworth doesn’t exactly have the greatest track record of critical and commercial success for leading genre movies that don’t require him to suit up as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor. As such, it would be fair to say expectations were muted.
However, when Sam Hargrave’s brutal and gritty feature debut landed on Netflix in April, it exploded in popularity and ended up becoming the platform’s most-watched original movie ever after racking up a massive 90 million streams in the first four weeks it was available. Most of the praise was directed towards Hemsworth’s no-frills performance as Tyler Rake and Hargrave’s impeccable action choreography, but the driving force of the story was Rudhraksh Jaiswal’s Ovi Mahajan, the child that set the plot into the state of perpetual motion that it remained in until the credits rolled.
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The young actor did a solid job in the role, one that could have easily been reduced to having him doing nothing but run around like a headless chicken and look terrified while Hemsworth shot, stabbed and punched his way through the movie. And in a recent interview, Jaiswal lavished huge praise on his co-star for the impact he’s had on at both a personal and professional level.
“Before I did Extraction, my life was very different. I was bullied at school, people would try to bring me down and every day I would go home crying. He’s been guiding me through this journey. If I’m stuck or need advice, I always reach out to him. He’s my idol. He always brings out the best in me. He also helped me improve my acting techniques and taught me the art of dialogue, voice modulation and taking pauses in between lines.”
Based on how Extraction ended, the smart money is on the duo being reunited for the in-development sequel. Quite how that happens is anyone’s guess, but nobody will be checking out the next installment looking for a complex narrative. They just want to see more bone-crunching action, and on that front, Tyler Rake’s second outing is almost guaranteed to deliver.