‘Extraction’ chaos doesn’t mask the CIA potboiler’s low-rent status
The action-thriller “Extraction” may not be about tooth removal, but for all the fun it proves, it might as well be.
Director Steven C. Miller, working off a script by Max Adams and Umair Aleem, keeps things moving at a breakneck pace in an attempt, it seems, to help mask the film’s convoluted plotting, one-note performances and bad dialogue (“Good skin is for hookers and potatoes!”). No amount of propulsive chaos or fleet editing could elevate this noisy potboiler beyond its decidedly low-rent status.
Harry Turner (Kellan Lutz) is a highly trained young CIA analyst who remains haunted by his mother’s decade-old murder. When he learns his tough-as-nails, semi-retired spy dad, Leonard (Bruce Willis, on paycheck patrol), has been taken hostage by terrorists, Harry goes rogue and zips from Prague to New Jersey on a dangerous rescue mission. (The film was shot entirely in Mobile, Ala.)
At the center of the pursuit is a top-secret hacking device called the Condor that, long story short, can rule — or ruin — the world’s telecommunication systems. Thanks to Leonard’s old CIA pal, Ken (D.B. Sweeney), who’s now Harry’s avuncular boss, Leonard had been assigned to guard the gadget, which a murky criss-cross of bad guys want and will stop at nothing to get.
Harry jumps into the fray and an implausible concoction of choppily edited car chases, hand-to-hand fights, gun battles, stabbings and other stock mayhem ensues.
Despite the movie’s death-defying ticking clock, the invincible Harry still has time to banter and get romantic with ex-girlfriend Victoria (an underwhelming Gina Carano), a field operative who’s been dispatched to shadow him. Their chemistry level: zero.
On the upside, there’s a nifty animated opening credits sequence and the running time is thankfully brief.
MPAA rating: R, for violence, language throughout and brief sexual content/nudity
Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes
Playing: AMC Burbank Town Center 8. Also on VOD.
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