Extraction 2 just landed on Netflix and I have to be honest with you guys, I never want kids. Or maybe I just don’t want this specific kid in this movie that caused so much trouble and the loss of life. But that’s not the only troublesome thing about this movie. It spent way too much time on the action and didn’t quite land when it came to the heart of it all. I spent way too much time checking the runtime to see how much I had left. And Chris Hemsworth is on my screen, people. So is Idris Elba in a mysterious handler role. That should be enough to keep me intrigued. But besides some truly incredible action scenes, and one of the most badass women in film, Extraction 2 felt lackluster and bloated.
Lots of Action But Lacks Heart
Extraction 2 felt way too long. And that’s a problem considering that the first movie was 1 hour and 56 minutes and the sequel was 2 hours and 2 minutes. And a huge chunk of that is the credits because that 21-minute-long action sequence took up plenty of space and probably had a lot of people working on it. Keeping all of that in mind, this movie felt like it would go on forever. So much so that I repeatedly kept looking at the clock wondering when this was going to be over. At one point I thought the movie was about to reach its climax because the bad guys were on their way. Lo and behold I checked the timer and I still have 1 hour left. For experiment’s sake, I checked the time again to see how much storytelling I had left. There were still 40 minutes left. Make it make sense.
After watching Extraction 2, I sat down trying to think about why the first movie felt so compelling, despite the atrocious yellow filter, and why this time around I was bored out of my mind. I think I figured some things out. I honestly didn’t care for the kids. Or the sister of his ex. And I was waiting to see when I would care because the little kid was super cute. But I never cared for the kid or the mom, who was also boring, and I spent most of my time hating Sergio and his dumbass decisions. Because those dumbass decisions were plenty. By the end of it, I was desperately missing Ovi and hoping that he would make an appearance that would connect the first movie to the second one. Alas that didn’t happen but a girl can keep hoping because there’s a third one on the way.
The action also worked but didn’t work. I love watching mindless movies with great action. It keeps the brain refreshed and it’s the reason why John Wick has so many movies. But in creating Extraction 2 I feel like they spent so much time focusing on the action that the emotional connection to Rake’s storyline suffered a lot. I didn’t care for his ex-wife or the sibling and kids he just helped escape from a terrifying prison. But the movie continuously tried to tell us that we should care for these people instead of showing us. They instead spent most of the time showing us badass action scenes. And I love those and always will. But pick a lane or stop telling me this movie has heart and start showing me.
The only saving graces of this movie were Hemsworth and Golshifteh Farahani, who plays Nik. In fact, they should have spent more time focusing on them and their friendship instead of giving me so many random one-liners and moments with the main bad guy of the story. Or his cronies, which he had plenty of. Cuz I know we have to show bodies and show how powerful and smart the villain is, but come on. You missed the mark when it came to the heart of this movie. I would even go as far as saying that this movie spent more time ignoring the heart of it all while giving us a bloated cast list that just wouldn’t stop and buried the actual leads of this movie.
Nik Really Was Flying and Crying
I know that Hemsworth’s Rake is the main character of this movie and his face is all over the posters. But he isn’t the most badass character in Extraction 2. That honor goes to Golshifteh Farahani. She already proved herself in the first iteration of this movie. And every scene with her, you felt how she had control and power over the entire room. Furthermore, you saw that the connection that her character Nik had with Rake was not a romantic one. There wasn’t even a drop of it. She just cared for him as much as he did her. After all, found family happens even in these circles. And coming into Extraction 2, Farahani brought everything that had made her character a star in the first movie into the second one and then did something so badass that proves that women can compartmentalize like no one’s business.
Nik just saw her brother die. She saw his last moments as he struggled to breathe and how his eyes locked on hers. Because even in his final moments, he wanted to look upon his family. And Nik looked right back, not wanting to miss a second of it. Her cries of pain were raw and honest. They were also really hard to look at or listen to because you could tell that he was the one person that she trusted inexplicably with her life and in battle. And now he was gone. But what’s crazy is that as all of this is going on, as she is shattering, she’s flying a fucking helicopter. Through her anguish, she still manages to fly that helicopter and get them all to safety. That is why she’s a badass.
Farahani’s Nik feels like the evolution of the feminine badass who gets shit done. I remember growing up and seeing badasses like Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor and Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley. And at their time they broke the mold of what a hero could look like. Basically, a woman being the one to take charge and save the day. But even I realized that in expressing their rage, they lost some of their femininity. And it was a calculated choice by the studios to make them seem “not like other girls.” And you could see that in the way that they are styled and dressed. And I get it for both of these characters. One is in the middle of an apocalypse precursor. And the other is battling aliens left and right. Nik stands on the shoulders of those women and proves that you can be feminine presenting but also slap on a bulletproof vest and throw it down with the best of them because there is no one way to be a woman. She could be dirty and messed up one moment and then wear a nice casual outfit with a nice lip.
Here’s hoping that she makes her return for Extraction 3. Because she is a staple of this movie and like Rake, she deserves a happy ending as well. Or an ending that she chooses, where she goes out with a bang. As long as it’s her choice.
Sandro Was the Real Villain
Zarab (Tornike Gogrichiani) wasn’t the real villain of Extraction 2. That honor goes to Andro Japaridze‘s Sandro. Truly it’s been a while since I’ve hated a character as much as this kid. So much so that while I was watching this movie I sent a message to my friend going, “Fuck, I never want to have kids.” And it’s not like some of them are magical bundles of joy that fill your life with new experiences every day that make you grateful for them. I get those kids. And I’m grateful for those kids. What I’m not grateful for is little shits like Sandro who snitched on where they were going, got a lot of people dead, and was a problem from the very start. And it pains me to think that he’s all good. Oh, and I blame him for Yaz’s death. That’s on you kid.
I will admit that a part of me goes, “Hey, ease up. He’s a kid.” And yes, he is a kid. So I should expect him to do idiotic things. This is especially true when you take into consideration that he was ripped away from one life before prison to go to prison and then on the run outside of prison. This kid is tired and I get it. But my main anger at him isn’t even what happened outside of the prison. It’s about what happened inside. He knew his mother was being abused, emotionally and physically, and at every turn, he turned his back on his mother and his little sister. And I know that every kid is different and he idolized his dad. But this kid gave two shits about his dad slapping around his mom and threatening her. He also didn’t care about his sister probably dying or never seeing the Sun again.
Even with all of that, I do have complicated feelings even on him not backing his mom. Even if he didn’t grow up in prison, he grew up around this kind of family. And he believed in that family with everything he had. So the thought of his dad being killed by this mysterious stranger, it confused the hell out of the kid. Plus there’s also the fact that he might have thought that yelling or hitting at a woman is normal. I get all of that. But even then I don’t like it. I don’t like him. At the end of the day, he did the right thing. I salute him for that. Maybe he’ll continue a path of growth where he understands the consequences of his actions. And hopefully, he doesn’t fall down the same hole that his father and brother fell into you all those years ago. Even then, I still can’t stop thinking about how I don’t want children, especially if they’re going to turn out dumbasses like Sergio. Too mean? Oh well. Give me Ovi back.
Extraction 2 is now available on Netflix.