'Extraction' Review: Randeep Hooda is the only silver lining

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Randeep Hooda in Extraction, Netflix

Extraction is the American stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave’s directorial debut. It’s based on a graphic novel by Ande Parks (Author), Joe Russo (Author), Anthony Russo (Author), Fernando León González (Artist), and Eric Skillman (Artist). The screenplay is written by Joe Russo. Hargrave’s association with Russo Brothers is an old one. He previously served as a stunt coordinator for several films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe helmed by the Russo Brothers. Extraction stars Chris Hemsworth, Randeep Hooda, Golshifteh Farahani, Priyanshu Painyuli, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, David Harbour, and Pankaj Tripathi. 

Now, Extraction suffers from an inherent problem that most films directed by stunt specialists tend to suffer from—the action ends up overshadowing the story, performances, and everything else. As a result large parts of the Hargrave film feels like some action-based video game playing in the demo mode. And in the end it proves to be an epic waste of talent and resources it proves to be. Extraction is a reminder of the importance of casting and what can happen if it goes awry. The makers unfortunately had no idea about the nuances of Bangla language. Almost all the characters including Priyanshu Painyuli, who plays the Bangladeshi drug lord, look so awkward while delivering Bangla dialogues. The accent, dialect, and delivery all go for a toss. 

The butchery of the language would come as a rude shock to the native Bangla speakers as well as those who have acquired even a most basic understanding of the language and dialect through any form of cultural exchange. As someone who has grown up watching Bengali films of Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, I personally was greatly disappointed by the shoddy work on display in Extraction. Imagine someone doing this to Spanish in Narcos or Italian in The Godfather? Then finally when one is able to look beyond the butchery of the language one has to confront the reality that the film has no substantial plot to offer. A wafer thin storyline coupled with mindless action is what the film is all about. 

The only silver lining here is Randeep Hooda who brings an element of humanity to this mindless carnage. Chris Hemsworth tries to do a John Rambo but fails miserably at it. The film does grave injustice to Pankaj Tripathi but if you can waste a charismatic actor of Golshifteh Farahani's calibre then there really isn't much left to say anyway. I think it is high time Netflix pulled up its socks, for an intense competition awaits the web giant on the other side of this lockdown.

Rating: 4.5/10

A version of this review was first published in The Sunday Guardian.

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