Notable Cast: Kellan Lutz, Gina Carano, Bruce Willis
At one point in his career, having a movie with Bruce Willis in a smaller role would have been something to really get excited about. However, in the last decade Mr. Die Hard has done nothing much more than phone in performances and take bit roles in mediocre straight to home video action flicks. Even his bigger films like A Good Day to Die Hard are dragged down by his obvious I-Couldn’t-Care-Less attitude. In the case of a film like Extraction, we have two mediocre young action stars in a middle of the road movie that desperately needed a charismatic anchor to support them – and Bruce Willis is NOT that guy despite the fact that his name still seemingly sells films. In the end, the film is a lacking charismatic hook and that drags Extraction down – even when it has some fun moments for action fans.
Harry Turner (Lutz) has been desperately trying to get a field agent position in the CIA for quite some time. He’s fully capable, if not over qualified, to be one of their best, but he consistently finds himself rejected. When his father (Willis), a legendary CIA agent in his own regard, is captured and held hostage in a botched assignment, Harry is going to have to go rogue to free him.
|"Oh look, my paycheck is here."|
Unfortunately, being entertaining is only part of the battle in the scheme to be a good movie and there are three things that truly hinder Extraction from reaching some of the heights it should have reached. Firstly, the acting is horrendously hit or miss. While I have a soft spot for Lutz in low budget action (I still stand by Java Heat as one of more entertaining straight to home video action flicks I’ve seen in a long time), Carano is pretty bland in the film and Willis, like always, sleep walks his way through the film. Some of the poor moments of acting in the film are exasperated by the second reason that Extraction stumbles: the writing. Not only is the film formulaic in its plotting, it’s not very good at doing it. A romantic side plot between Lutz and Carano is forced and awkward, the film lacks a lot of flow when going from scene to scene, and the big conspiracy plot lacks a lot of energy in the finale to sell itself. Even with these issues though, a film can pull through with the right style…and that’s the last of the big issues. Director Steven C. Miller, who has crafted his fair share of very entertaining horror and thriller films like The Aggression Scale and Silent Night, pulls away from his ability to take modern style and build tension for the sake of Extraction’s fast pace and action. He edits too much, he shakes the camera too much, and while it’s a style that sells right now in action – it undermines a lot of the better things that the film has going for it.
|How most critics treat Kellan Lutz.|