shelter in place: the trip that never was
shelter in place

geezer cinema: extraction (sam hargrave, 2020)

Geezer Cinema lives, even though movie theaters have yet to open. Extraction is the seventh movie we've seen in our weekly Geezer series ... I'm almost getting used to it, although I always need to remember we got the idea for this as a reason to get out of the house once both of us were retired.

Extraction would have played well on the big screen with Dolby Cinema turned up to the max. It's a loud movie filled with a gazillion rounds of ammunition from a variety of guns. There are also grenades that make a lot of noise, car crashes that make a lot of noise, explosions that make a lot of noise, and for variety, there is the occasional blood letting by knife. Sam Hargrave doesn't seem interested in any deep meanings ... he's an award-winning stunt coordinator directing his first movie. He is competent, but the movie cranks up to another level when Hargrave can focus on stunts.

A lot of technical skill is on display during the stunt fests. It looks very efficient and relatively seamless. The selling point is a "oner", an 11 1/2-minute single-take action scene. It works not only as "look what we can do", but also as an effective action sequence.

The movie comes to a halt whenever the action does the same. There are the usual attempts to make us care about the characters, none of which worked on me. The actors are good. Chris Hemsworth is believable, and some of the supporting cast are quite good at trying to turn clichéd material into something more. Special shoutout to Golshifteh Farahani (About Lily), who doesn't get nearly enough screen time but who is clearly part of the setup for any possible sequels. Rudhraksh Jaiswal does well as a kidnapped kid ... I'd like to see him in something else down the road.

Extraction does what it sets out to do, and occasionally adds some panache. In a world with Fury Road and the Raid movies, Extraction doesn't really stand out. But it does get our attention during a period when few pictures are being released (our local newspaper ran a review from their #1 movie critic), and fills that role well. Don't expect more, and you'll be satisfied.


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