EXTRACTION 2 – Review by Susan Granger

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If you’re into brainless, mucho macho mayhem, Extraction 2 is 85% action, 15% narrative – meaning there’s lots of fighting, particularly hand-to-hand combat, even though it’s never clear how these ‘ordinary’ Eastern European men can take that much physical punishment and maintain their ruthless bravado.

Australian black ops mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is still recovering from his previous mission. Reuniting with director/stuntman Sam Hargrave, he embarks on this sequel, tracing its origins to Ande Parks’ graphic novel “Ciudad” from a story by Parks, Joe & Anthony Russo.

This time, valiant Rake is recruited by Alcott (Idris Elba), a mysterious man who says he’s a friend of Rake’s Georgian ex-wife (Olga Kurylenko) whose sister (Tinatin Dalakishvili) is married to Davit Radiani (Tornike Bziava), an abusive gangster who is keeping her and their two children imprisoned with him.

The subsequent ‘rescue’ sequence is a frenzied, 21-minute continuous fight, as Rake once again teams up with Nik Khan (Golshifteh Farahani) and her brother Yaz (Adam Bessa). According to director Hargrave, this action scene took 4-5 months to rehearse and 29 days to film.

During the riot, Davit is killed which ignites a revenge vow from his psychotic brother Zurab (Tornike Gogrichiani) and their crime family. Problem is: Davit’s teenage son Sandro (Andro Japaridze) is torn between loyalty to his mother and to his dead father’s Nagazi cohorts. So much for pulpy plot.

Since the characters are generally underwritten, it’s difficult to evoke any emotional connection to the unrelenting, ultra-violent, if cleverly choreographed chaos, simplistically chronicled like a live-action video game by cinematographer Greg Baldi.

The only revelation about Tyler Rake’s backstory comes when he confesses he went to Afghanistan for another tour of duty as his son was battling an incurable illness; presumably, that led to his divorce, burden of guilt and now redemption.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, Extraction 2 is a shallow, if adrenaline pumping 4, streaming on Netflix, which has already green-lit “Extraction 3.”

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.