6 Movies like Extraction Franchise You Must Watch: ‘Extraction’ was one of the first big OTT hits in the pandemic era. Starring Chris Hemsworth as the stylish protagonist, ‘Extraction’ became the most-watched Netflix original film of all time within a month of its release. So what exactly worked in its favour? Brazen stunt work, gritty and immersive long-drawn action scenes, and the bid for survival against all odds. John Wick much? Well, ‘Extraction 2’ has been on the horizon for a long time, and it was finally released yesterday on Netflix. The successor has kept the magic formula intact without breaking strides.
Criticism attached to the senselessness of violence has been addressed, although remnants from the first one still remain. ‘Extraction 2’ is more ambitious with its storytelling and uses Hemsworth as a reliable anchor to propagate emotional and meaningful themes. The Russo brothers, who adapted ‘Extraction’ from the graphic novel ‘Ciudad’, have also developed their cinematic universe, which they plan on using for a full-fledged franchise. On the eve of the release of ‘Extraction 2’, we have crafted a list of films like the ‘Extraction’ franchise below that you must check out right away.
1. The Covenant (2023)
Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant, now available to stream on Prime Video, is not based on a true story but several true stories of Afghan interpreters whose existence is threatened today in the Taliban-ruled country. Jake Gyllenhaal and Dar Salim star in pivotal roles, playing the American and Afghan, respectively, whose fates became forever intertwined owing to the ideals surrounding human friendship. The fungibility of human bonds, like ‘Extraction’, is the central message of the film. It is the aspect that appeals to us the most as well.
This might be someone’s real story, and that is tragic indeed. The most striking notion of ‘The Covenant’ is the visual absence of suffering, replaced by a haunting shadowy feeling looming over the film. There is, in fact, a huge overhang throughout the film as Sergeant John Kinley (Gyllenhaal) looks to “repay his debts” to Ahmed (Salim) for saving his life.
That might be ambiguous, but as a viewer, it is undeniable that Ritchie asserts that the presence of the forces prevented the Taliban from wreaking havoc and taking over. ‘The Covenant’ has an old soul in terms of filmmaking and offers an impressively carved-out take on the issue of abandonment by the US forces in Afghanistan. It is not fast, explosive, and gratifying cinema but certainly taut and sufficiently palpable.
2. Sicario (2015)
Beyond the stylistic action sequences and narrative similarities, ‘Sicario’ and ‘Extraction’ share very similar protagonists. Denis Villeneuve’s suave film is a haunting exploration of a father out to redeem the death of his family, among other things. Benicio del Toro’s portrayal of Alejandro Gillick features his hallmark stoicism, vulnerability, and violent anger suppressed beneath his tired eyes. Gillick’s backstory is as heartbreaking and touching as Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake’s. Both men share an indifference and apathy for the world around them that is hard to ignore.
These harsh realities of their lives instinctively push them to their professions and make them such efficient operators. ‘Day of Soldado’ is also quite similar to ‘Extraction’ and can be a great companion watch. Sicario is a little more mature as a film and experiments with a mirage of themes that gives it different shades and moods. Despite ‘Sicario’ and Extraction not matching each other toe to toe, they share a spiritual element that appeals to us the most at the end of the day.
3. The Man from Nowhere (2010)
Lee Jeong-beom’s ‘The Man from Nowhere’ is an electric action thriller. The film’s action choreography, acting performances, and taut editing have given it a special place in the fans’ hearts. Woo Bin’s portrayal as a quiet, lonely pawnshop owner with a mysterious past gives a great anchor to the viewers. His transformation from an isolated individual to a relentless force of vengeance is captivating and emotionally charged. His arc is the quintessential underdog-to-main-dog trope that never disappoints us. But his connection with the little girl and the lengths he goes to save her is reminiscent of Tyler Rake’s connection with Ovi in Extraction.
‘The Man from Nowhere’ also maintains a consistent and dark atmosphere, enhancing the tension and suspense throughout. The creative flair in both films comes from the graphic violence on display. All action sequences are drenched in excessive brutality and cleverly staged and edited fights. In terms of technical aspects, the cinematography and production design is solid, effectively capturing the gritty urban landscapes and emphasizing the bleak atmosphere of the story. The film’s score complements the action sequences and adds to the overall tension, contributing to the immersive experience.
4. Commando (1985)
The Netflix documentary Arnold really brought Arnold Schwarzenegger’s real-life story to the fore. There were aspects of his identity and life before stardom that were hidden. The documentary also touched upon how Arnold wanted to become a “star and not an actor.” ‘Commando’ was one of his first big successes that showed the industry that Arnold’s truth was being “an action hero.” His questionable thespian craft was cleverly navigated in ‘Commando’, which is all about action, redemption, and guns, like ‘Extraction 2’.
Just like Arnold’s John Matrix, Tyler Rake faces the humongous task of infiltrating an island all on his own. Both these characters have thick skins and a trauma that is easily triggered from their past, that keeps them focused on the mission, but also cognizant of their moral duty. ‘Commando’ is a larger-than-life film. But it is unmistakably enjoyable and a thoroughly riveting cinematic experience.
5. Atomic Blonde (2014)
An agent goes on a tricky extraction mission only to find out that they have been double-crossed. Now, does that sound like ‘Extraction’ or ‘Atomic Blonde‘? The answer is, of course, both. David Leitch’s suave directorial debut features the remarkable Charlize Theron as the central protagonist. Although there are more layers to the storytelling, Theron is the film’s soul. Her performance, quite like Chris Hemosworth’s, encapsulates different shades of betrayal, towering physicality, vulnerability, and a personal mission.
‘Atomic Blonde’ is stylistically superior to most action films in recent memory. It utilizes the contemporary elements of visual nuance well and respects the modern standards of action. Like the ‘Extraction’ franchise, you will find compelling, long-drawn action sequences and evenly contested fights between Theron and the bad guys. The choreography of the scenes and use of a handheld camera that continuously follows the subjects will be instantly recognized by fans of the ‘Extraction’ films.
6. The Raid (2011)
This Indonesian film has now become the stuff of legends. ‘The Raid’ has gained a cult-like following in the last few years, ever since ‘John Wick’ made the action genre popular again. It is one of the most original, uncompromisingly violent, and committed action films around. The fiercely edited fight sequences of ‘The Raid’ are similar to ‘Extraction 2’. Sam Hargrave and his team definitely surprised us on the positive side with how tautly continuous the two big fights in the film are. The unique setting of ‘The Raid’ sets it apart. So does its mature, mystical handling of the senseless violence in the film. It is clearly made for a certain fanbase who laps up such creative endeavors without too much involvement with the characters or the plot.