EXTRACTION

PrintE-mail Written by Ryan Pollard

The latest direct-to-DVD B-movie to hit consumer shelves, Extraction, is about a CIA operative, Harry Turner, who finds that his father, Leonard, has been kidnapped along with a hacking device known as the Condor. Defying the orders of his superiors, Harry goes on the run and goes around punching a lot of people until he finds out where his father was taken, but things get complicated when Harry's ex, Victoria, arrives to find Leonard and the Condor, naturally both decide to team up in a race against the clock.

Oh boy, what has happened to Bruce Willis? After falling flat on his face in the redundant A Good Day to Die Hard, and appearing in countless B-movie fare (The Cold Light of Day, Fire with Fire, Vice, etc.), it goes to show how far this star actor of yesteryear has fallen. Plus, just like in all of the aforementioned, he only gets a small number of scenes in this, appearing briefly at the beginning and then disappearing until the end. The film markets him as one of the main stars and yet his part is really nothing more than a glorified cameo, which isn't helped by the fact that his performance is terrible. In all honesty, Willis looks bored out of his brain and ends up becoming the definition of a man picking up the cheque on screen. 

Willis aside, this is primarily a Kellan Lutz vehicle, and the character of Harry, as well as Lutz's performance, is just dull to watch. He is meant to be the main protagonist that we form an attachment to, but Lutz plays him so straight, without any depth whatsoever, that we never really form any connection with him. It's really Gina Carano who's the saving grace as she's able to hold her own, like she did in Haywire and Fast and the Furious 6, but she's ultimately relegated into a supporting semi-love interest character, as well as a damsel-in-distress, and her impressive martial art credential isn't capitalised on enough here.

The rest of the movie is basically a cheap secret service action-flick; with the occasional and necessary fight sequences, and all set within the obligatory, typical locations, such as a biker bar (billiard balls and a jukebox present) and a trendy nightclub. The story doesn't bring anything new to the table and falls into the by-the-numbers clich├ęs we are all too familiar with, and that just goes to show that there isn't a unique or creative bone in its body. Even the big twist at the end was disappointingly predictable and easy to spot from a mile away. Even though films like John Wick and Taken were B-movie action pictures (and theatrical ones at that), at least the filmmakers put real creativity and ingenuity into them to, as well as making them fresh and exciting. But with this, it just goes to show that some production companies still don't get it, opting to go for the lazy, production-line option and cash-in, instead of properly developing the film and putting some effort in, like those other companies had.

On the plus side, the fighting choreography is mostly solid, the cinematography is impressive and the music is pulse-pounding, but that isn't enough to prevent Extraction from devolving into another copy-and-paste actioner and wasting Bruce Willis' acting chops and Gina Carano's impressive ass-kicking talents. Honestly, even though the copycat, action B-movie genre isn't dead (surprisingly), that doesn't mean it's alive, and it's high-time production companies get with the program and make something that's worth watching, in addition to making a butt-load of cash. How about that?

EXTRACTION / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: STEVEN C. MILLER / SCREENPLAY: MAX ADAMS, UMAIR ALEEM / STARRING: KELLAN LUTZ, GINA CARANO, BRUCE WILLIS / RELEASE DATE: 14TH MARCH


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