‘Extraction’ (2020) film review

With the rise of stuntman-directed films, Sam Hargrave not only delivers a new installment to the genre, but pulls off one of the most adrenaline-pumping films that I have seen in quite a while.

The essential plot line of Extraction, which is available only on Netflix, is about a black-market mercenary named Tyler Rake (played by Chris Hemsworth) who is hired to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international drug lord. This leads Rake through the streets of Dhaka, Bangladesh, with the kidnapped son, in an intense blend of car chases, fist fights, and bullets.

Sam Hargrave does a marvelous job at directing this action-thriller. Each scene is shot so well that it keeps you on the edge of your seat during every action sequence. The color pallet portrayed the streets of Dhaka in a darkish, sewer-like light giving the viewer the sense of depravity and gruesomeness of Rake’s and the kidnapped son’s situation.

The action in Extraction is definitely the selling point of this movie. Each gun fight, fist fight and car chase that is featured in the movie is done in such a gruesome and engaging fashion. It is obvious that Hemsworth must have spent countless months preparing for these action sequences. Each fight, whether it is with a gun or a fist fight, is complex and delivered effectively. There is also a 12-minute sequence that is cut to look like one long camera take, and it is officially one of my favorite action sequences I have seen in quite a while.

As for any action movie, the action is only as good as the cinematography.  If the action scenes are shot poorly, it is difficult to keep track of what is happening. Thankfully with this film, the cinematography showcases the action spectacularly, making each sequence easy to follow and digest.

The casting in this movie is also quite well done. Using an actor like Chris Hemsworth aids in making you care about the character. Since the world saw Hemsworth take up the hammer in Marvel’s Thor in 2011, audiences have fallen in love with the actor.  Because of this pre-established love for Hemsworth, it makes it much easier for audiences to attach to his character in Extraction, especially since this film is mostly action rather than a character-building movie. Rudhraksh Jaiswal, the actor playing the kidnapped son, also does an exceptional job of portraying the child.  Although he does not have a whole lot of dialogue in the movie, his facial expressions give a convincing image of how terrified the boy truly is. Also, there is a cameo about halfway through the film that was cast wisely. Although the character is only in the film for about 15 minutes, he executes an impressive performance. Because of the casting of this cameo, I was honestly surprised and impressed with the character’s story-arc, since I did not expect it all.

The pacing of this film is also executed effectively. Although it immediately dives into the intense action, there is a 20-minute sequence during the middle of the film where there is barely any action, and mostly just character building.  It then dives back into the action all the way to the end. While some movies pull this form of pacing off quite poorly, Extraction does an incredible job with it – giving you time during the amazing action sequences to not only breathe, but also connect more with the characters.

Before I watched this movie, I was not expecting a whole lot. I knew that Chris Hemsworth was in it, so I was definitely excited for that. However, I was not prepared for how amazing of a film Extraction was going to be.  It kept me engaged for the entirety of the film, and after watching it, Extraction has now become one of my favorite action movies that I have seen in quite a long time. I would highly recommend this to any action film lover, and with the COVID-19 pandemic still in occurrence, I would recommend checking it out during this quarantine period. If you love good action, then this is definitely the movie for you.

Rating: 8/10

Why you should read ‘Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir’

Following the cancellation of Star Wars: The Clone Wars in 2013, Lucasfilm set out to adapt a multitude of unfinished stories intended for the show through other mediums. One such story is the comic Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir.

Originally intended to be part of The Clone Wars’s sixth season, Son of Dathomir follows Darth Maul after his capture by Darth Sidious in the episode “The Lawless.” Not only does it pick up right where the show leaves off, but you also get some incredible dialogue between Maul and his captors. This includes Count Dooku, and this man does not go easy on our poor spike-headed dark side boy. He does not use that weak force torture like Kylo Ren did in The Force Awakens. However, the torture is not without purpose. Dooku and Sidious want to draw out Mother Talzin, the leader of the Nightsisters, so they can free themselves of her wrath.

Panel from Son of Dathomir #1.

Maul does not stay trapped for long however, as his Mandalorian buddies come to rescue him. They regroup with the rest of their forces on the planet Zanbar, only to be intercepted by General Grievous and his army of brainless droids. Now, if you thought Maul talking to Dooku was cool, then you will love seeing Grievous and Maul dueling. You can never have too many lightsaber blades.

Panels from Son of Dathomir #1.

Maul’s army quickly gets overwhelmed by Grievous’s droids and they have to retreat. Maul then speaks with Mother Talzin, exactly as Dooku and Sidious had planned. Maul and the Mandalorians then lead the droid army to a city on Ord Mantell where the rest of the Shadow Collective army is waiting. The combined forces of the Pykes, Black Sun, and Mandalorians, aided by the Nightbrothers sent by Mother Talzin, prove to be more than a match for the droid army. Dooku quickly wipes out most of the Nightbrothers himself, resulting in these incredible panels.

Panels from Son of Dathomir #2

While it would have been great if this story had been animated, I am grateful we got to see it at all. Seeing Maul come face-to-face with Grievous and Dooku is a fan’s dream come true. The confrontations between the two Sith apprentices leave readers wanting more. The whole comic ties-in perfectly with Maul’s appearances in The Clone Wars and bridges the gap in his story well. If you are planning on binging season seven of The Clone Wars or have seen the show but have never read Son of Dathomir, I highly recommend checking it out. Writer Jeremy Barlow and artists Juan Frigeri, Mauro Vargas and Wez Dzioba brought this fantastic story to life in each page.

Rating: 9/10

Buy the graphic novel:

Comixology: https://www.comixology.com/Star-Wars-Darth-Maul-Son-of-Dathomir/digital-comic/571876?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/star-wars-jeremy-barlow/1118925183

Blinded by Sports podcast Episode 1: NFL Draft Recap and the return of the Bundesliga

Photo via Getty Images

I join The Candid Clark podcast to discuss with Sean Clark the winners and losers of the 2020 NFL Draft. We then move on to discuss the return of the Bundesliga and Bayern Munich acquiring Manchester City left winger Leroy Sane. Check it out through the link below!