REVIEW: Extraction 2 (2023)

Extraction 2 lives up to its promise; it’s an exhilarating action movie that manages to top its excellent predecessor in both suspense and spectacle. It also features three-dimensional characters who feel like real people with human motivations and desires amid the fantastical action sequences, and that includes the villain. At its heart is an actor who was born to be a star, commanding the screen while walking proudly in the footsteps of the action hero giants who came before him.

Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) survives the certain death he received at the end of Extraction, and during a long, arduous rehabilitation, wonders what to do with the life he almost lost. The answer comes in the form of a new mission from an unlikely source: rescue a woman (Tinatin Dalakishvili) and her children from a Georgian prison where her gangster husband (Tornike Bziava) has them held while he does time. But the husband has an even more dangerous brother (Tornike Gogrichiani) with an army of savage henchmen, a government under his control, and an unbreakable bond with his brother.

After the much-deserved success of Extraction, it was almost a given that Netflix would want more from director Sam Hargrave, producers (and writer, in Joe’s case) the Russo Brothers, and Chris Hemsworth’s supreme badass hero Tyler Rake. But given Rake’s apparent death at the end of Extraction, it was unclear whether the follow-up would be a sequel or a prequel. Thankfully, they chose wisely, and Rake is alive. Not only does this make sense from a storytelling perspective – Rake had rediscovered his purpose in the previous movie, which his death would have nullified – but it put the kibosh on a meaningless prequel with no stakes. This is Tyler Rake having fulfilled his arc in Extraction and come back to life from the brink of doom.

Extraction 2 capitalizes on that arc by having Rake unsure of what we all know. When he’s recovered after washing away in the river, it takes months for him to wake up and even longer to get back to fighting shape or even just being able to walk. He’s still depressed, still wishing for death, but his partner in extracting, Nik (Golshifteh Farahani), implores him to ask why, if he’s so intent on ending his suffering, he fought so hard to survive. This is what Rake has to work through in the film, what he denies but, deep down, knows must be true: he wants to live, but he doesn’t know why. It’s a great setup because Rake can do much of this internally, soul-searching in the midst of the big action set pieces – perhaps even because of them.

Extraction 2

That’s what gives meaning to the action in Extraction 2 beyond killing bad guys and saving the family. Tyler Rake is trying to understand his own motivations, and it’s through the action that he does this. Early in the movie, as he’s recuperating, there’s a great moment where Nik’s brother Yaz (Adam Bessa) suggests Rake take up knitting as a way of finding himself, and Rake gives him this hard look, like he’s saying, “Get the hell out of here with that lady shit.” It’s funny, but it’s also character-building; Tyler Rake is a traditionally masculine man, and he’s not interested in sensitivity or emotional gushing. But he works through his existential crisis with action, with work, with helping others. The action and the masculinity define and examine his character, so everything is important.

And that’s just gravy because the action in Extraction 2 is absolutely incredible. There are not really any action scenes, just long, sustained action sequences, and they will leave you breathless. The filmmaking from Sam Hargrave is exceptional, with each movement from the camera and the actors perfectly timed and executed to create either suspense or satisfaction. The former is key; each of these sequences is filled with tension, creating not just anticipation but a sense of danger for Rake and his companions, where a threat could jump out of the shadows at any moment. And when it does, Rake’s response is satisfying on a visceral level, with a variety of fighting methods and some great kills. I just finished the movie, and I already want to watch it again just to relive some of these fights.

Extraction 2

Holding it together is Chris Hemsworth, a fantastic action hero in the grandest tradition of Arnold and Stallone. Rake is at once human and superhuman, performing just-short-of-unbelievable feats of strength while taking a good amount of damage in the heat of battle. Hemsworth plays this perfectly; he conveys the pain Rake is feeling while doing his best to suppress it, knowing he has to push past his injuries to make it out of the warzone alive – and to get the family he’s protecting out as well. Hemsworth makes Rake bleed physically and emotionally but keeps it all internal, with only slight indications of his pain telling us that this is a wounded man. He deserves to have several action franchises going, or maybe some standalones with this as his bread and butter, but I’ll settle for an Extraction movie every couple of years.

The rest of the characters are also human, and they’re all relatable. Ketevan, the mother Rake rescues, is like him in many ways, suffering in silence for the sake of her children, enduring a hell that may never end to keep them from being pulled into her husband’s demonic world. Nik is fleshed out more than she was in the first film, with Extraction 2 exploring her loyalty to Rake, her unwillingness to give up on her best friend when the rest of the world is telling her to let him go. Sandro (Andro Japaridze), Ketevan’s son, is a teenager forced into adulthood too fast, caught between the myth of the father he idolizes and the reality of the mother standing before him, risking everything to give him a choice. And finally, Zurab, the main villain, is a ruthless criminal who wields immense power – how immense is demonstrated early – but is ruled by the love for his brother that has defined his life. He’s a step up from his predecessor in the bad guy department because he and Rake have a real conflict, and while he’s never cast as sympathetic, he’s understandable.

Extraction 2

The only two things I don’t like about these movies are that they weren’t shown in theaters and that they’ll probably never be available to own on physical media. (Netflix has to get people to subscribe somehow.) Extraction 2 is up there with the John Wick movies, a modern action classic that deserves more than being kept on a streaming service. Then again, Netflix deserves credit for getting it made at all. Now, they need to start planning Tyler Rake’s next adventure.

Extraction 2 (2023)

Plot - 8
Acting - 9
Directing/Editing - 10
Music/Sound - 8
Action - 10



Extraction 2 is a relentless, exhilarating, and immensely satisfying action movie with relatable characters, incredibly filmed action sequences, and a terrific performance from Chris Hemsworth.

Comments (2)

June 17, 2023 at 8:55 am

Great movie! I had a really great time and I think there needs to be a third one!

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the new updates!