Actor Chris Hemsworth is a shorthand for 'God of Thunder' to Marvel fans. When he unites with Russo Brothers for the action flick "Extraction," that too set in our very own Dhaka, it becomes a must-watch affair, except it didn't deserve all the fanfare prior to its release (we will get into it shortly).
Hemsworth's character 'Tyler Rake' plays a mercenary in the film. His usual charms and action prowess makes him the only reason to watch this dud actioner, if there's any. The film was partly shot in Dhaka. But with the help of CGI and set building, Tyler hurls through the alleys of Old Dhaka and beyond till his last scene.
Sam Hargrave, the director of the film, is originally a stunt coordinator. He was the body double for Captain America in the Avengers films. Hargrave's first shot at filmmaking is flawed. But his devotion to make "Extraction" a wham bam action flick is passable.
In the opening scene, we see drone shots over Buriganga, with both sides of the river in horizon. Hargrave himself came to Dhaka to shoot those montages. His efforts made Dhaka look like that of a slum, not a megacity. When Tyler Rake speaks in Bangla saying: Proman Dao! (Give me proof), it gives momentary fan service to Bangladeshis, but that alone was not enough to save the sinking ship called "Extraction."
The plot goes something like this: Biggest drug lord in Bangladesh kidnaps the teenage son of the biggest drug lord in India. To rescue his son, the Indian criminal (Pankaj Tripathi) assembles a team to extract his son 'Ovi Mahajan (Rudhraksh Jaiswal). Tyler Rake is brought on board to carry out the mission. But like many rescue films, this one follows a tried and tested trope. Tyler Rake and his friends are played by a third party, making the extraction plan (almost) futile.
Our capital city Dhaka is the backdrop of the film. The plot suggests most of the rescue scenes take place in Old Dhaka, but the film changes geography for the sake of the plot (or plot holes). A bridge called "Sultana Kamal Bridge" over the Buriganga works as a passage between the border of India and Bangladesh. Who would have thought Dhaka is so close to our neighbour India? Now that is some 'Fast and Furious' level logic.
An action film does not require to make sense if the audience finds it watchable. But in Extraction, Tyler Rake is a gun toting violent man, who also cares about Ovi's safety. A dash of heart sure made Tyler Humane. But when he opens fire to kill hundreds of men, who appear to be uniformed as Bangladeshi police and Army, the Bangladeshi inside you might feel dumbfounded. Even offended. Why would Tyler kill members of elite forces when he lost the one thing that made him take this contract: money?
Shooting a Hollywood film in Dhaka can be a deal breaker, considering the population and lack of amenities for a shooting unit. It is understandable why they chose Ahmedabad and Bangkok as the locations to ditto Dhaka. But it was ludicrous to see Bollywood numbers such as 'Ek ladki ko dekha toh aisa laga' blaring off as Tyler pulls off an intense fight scene in Dhaka. Would it hurt to borrow some soundtracks from Dhallywood?
Randeep Hooda, the Indian actor, plays an equally fierce man of action that of Tyler's. Other characters in the film are forgettable. Even the Bangla speaking actors are not particularly enjoyable to watch. Mostly for their accent that sounds anything but Bangladeshi.
In broad strokes, you can watch "Extraction" for a fair share of laughter, not for the movie it was promised to be. David Harbour, the actor who rose to prominence for his role in "Stranger Things," listens to Bangla hip-hop while driving a car. That might be the single most hilarious thing for a Bangladeshi.