In an underworld of weapons dealers and traffickers, a young boy becomes the pawn in a war between notorious drug lords. Trapped by kidnappers inside one of the world’s most impenetrable cities, his rescue beckons the unparalleled skill of a mercenary named Tyler Rake, but Rake is a broken man with nothing to lose, harboring a death wish that makes an already deadly mission near impossible
Russo tries to give every character some shading, changing the stakes for several players, including Saju, along the way. And he builds a central relationship between Tyler and Ovi, giving the mercenary an emotional reason to stick with the boy as they experience all kinds of ultraviolence. “Extraction” isn’t weightless, but it’s overlong, in need of a tighter edit that includes the elimination of Gaspar (a full ham David Harbour), a local who offers a safe haven for Tyler and Ovi. It’s a film-stopping scene.
There are a few others in the endeavor, but “Extraction” builds to an explosive finale, which blends absolute havoc (including the visual of art-house staple Farahani using a bazooka to take out a helicopter) with “Saving Private Ryan” profundity, which is a bit of a reach, but still connects as intended. Hargrave can’t keep his feature running at top speed, but he has a special vision for the picture’s offerings of ultraviolent bedlam, and that’s what holds the whole thing together.