Hollywood movies

An afternoon with Chris Hemsworth and Sam Hargrave of ‘Extraction 2’

Jason Tan Liwag

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

An afternoon with Chris Hemsworth and Sam Hargrave of ‘Extraction 2’

Extraction 2. (Pictured) Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rakeu00a0in Extraction 2. Cr. Jasin Boland/Netflix u00a9 2021

Jasin Boland/Netflix © 2021

'What people won’t expect is the emotional journey and the relationships in the film,' says actor Chris Hemsworth during his presscon in Manila

When Tyler Rake falls of the Sultana Kamal Bridge in Extraction, it was supposed to be the end. But in the weeks after the film’s release, it captured the attention of a massive audience — its story of guilt woven with high-octane action a perfect mix for the sedentary body during quarantine. Less than a month after becoming one of Netflix’s first major hits amidst the pandemic, Netflix ordered a sequel — with writer Joe Russo, director Sam Hargrave, and action star Chris Hemsworth in line to reprise their creative roles.

Hemsworth, who encountered both Russo and Hargrave after collaborating on films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, collaborated with the two to make offscreen character work in the first film the foundation of the sequel. “We had these conversations about the backstory of the character — where he’d come from, what he’d been through, what put him in this position, and his approach to his line of work — and realized that not a whole lot of that was onscreen,” says Hemsworth during a press conference at the Conrad Hotel in Manila on Monday, June 5. “I certainly knew that Sam was going to recreate the action in a massive way and step it up a notch again. But what people won’t expect is the emotional journey and the relationships in the film.”

CONNECTION. (L to R) Golshifteh Farahani as Nik Khan and Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake in Extraction 2. Photo by Jasin Boland/Netflix

Extraction 2 carries similar themes of guilt and redemption as the first film but broadens the scope further by teasing out Rake’s relationship with the concepts of family — both biological and chosen. Hargrave, who is famous for his work as a stunt coordinator for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and as second unit director of The Mandalorian, worked closely with Russo and Hemsworth to develop several iterations of the script, going to Hemsworth during Christmas vacations and breaks to iron out the specifics and the character dynamics even as they were shooting.

Extraction 2 moves away from the scorching streets of Mumbai and into the icy domain of the Czech Republic. Battling sub-zero temperatures while on moving trains, Hemsworth and Hargrave contrast the experience with their work on Marvel films, whose spectacle relied more heavily on visual effects and post-production magic. “To have a lot of it in-camera — around 95% of it — takes a lot more preparation and rehearsal and skill from the stunt side of things,” says Hemsworth. “I think the audience appreciates it much more because there’s an authenticity to it, there’s a truth to it.”

To reduce risk of injury during the fight sequences, Hemsworth underwent a bodily transformation again for Extraction 2, focusing less on building muscle mass and more on fight training and stunt choreography. “For Thor, it was more aesthetic and about building muscle and looking bigger and stronger, but it wasn’t overly functional.” says Hemsworth. “For this film, it was about stripping a lot of that down and being able to move more. More flexibility, more functionality.”

Hemsworth credits the scale and inventiveness of the action sequences of Extraction 2, in part, to Hargrave’s prior experiences with stunt coordination — using film references or demonstrating the stunt to assure the team that it could be done safely. Such shorthand enabled Hemsworth and Hargrave to push for sequences that were bigger and bolder. “I try to look at it like a fan myself…. What would I enjoy? How can I do that in a way that is interesting or hasn’t been done before? There’s so many great action designers and choreographers out there and I don’t feel like I’ll out-choreograph them. But I might photograph it in a way that’s unique to my point of view,” says Hargrave. “We really pushed the envelope, ’cause the first one timed out at 11 minutes and 40 seconds and this one is 21 minutes and 7 seconds.”

WILD RIDE. Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake in Extraction 2. Photo by Jasin Boland/Netflix

The centerpiece of the film is one long take that finds Tyler Rake on a train moving 40-50 miles per hour amidst the snowscape. “There’s [also] a helicopter about 20 feet flying backwards,” says Hemsworth. “Just another Tuesday.” The process of filming the seemingly simple shot involves a delicate dance between Hemsworth, the stunt team rigging the systems, and Hargrave and his camera, all under icy conditions. “Walking underneath [the helicopter] was like walking into a hurricane,” says Hargrave. “So to walk along the side it, close enough that I could reach out and touch the pilot, we could high five if we wanted to, that was difficult.”

But amidst the pandemic, not all situations could be rehearsed for. Hemsworth details the difficulties of shooting the film’s prison break scene — which requires him to interact with over 300 extras, as he and several stuntmen were lit on fire. “There are a lot of guys that I rehearsed with in the lead-up to that. But by the time we got to shoot, [which was] in the middle of COVID, some had gotten sick and so they were subbed out for someone else who I hadn’t worked with, who was also learning how to fight,” says Hemsworth. “I don’t wanna say [it was] improvisational. But it was sink or swim. Very immediate. Learn on the spot and lots of prep.”

FIRE. Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake in Extraction 2. Photo by Jasin Boland/Netflix

Such work seems to be a dedication towards creating a worthwhile cinematic experience, one that simultaneously honors the genre while introducing something new. “The challenge with each new film [is that] there’s so many great movies that come out every year, so much great action – how do you compete? How do you keep up with the level [when] the bar gets raised every time?” says Hargrave. “Working with someone as talented and hardworking as Chris, you look at each other and think: ‘How can we push each other to do something we’ll be proud of 10 years from now?’ And try to make it something that will be memorable for the fans.” – Rappler.com

Extraction 2 will be available on Netflix starting June 16, 2023.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI
Avatar photo


Jason Tan Liwag

Jason Tan Liwag is an openly gay scientist, actor, and writer. As a film critic, he is an alumnus of the IFFR Young Critics Programme 2021, the FEFF Film Campus 2021, the Yamagata Film Criticism Workshop 2021, and the CINELAB Workshop 2020 and has served as a jury member for film festivals locally and internationally.