Extraction (2020): Action / Crime / Thriller


A self-destructive, black market mercenary signs up for a deadly mission where allies and enemies are difficult to tell apart.

I’m gonna start with the bad news: The script, unequivocally, has more holes than Swiss cheese. Something that, unavoidably, leads to clichés. Without wanting to decimate both the story and the plot, know what you sign up for! Two hours of standard Hollywood, action narrative, seriously lacking plausibility, and character depth.

Now for the good news: As a representative example of cinema of attractions, Extraction‘s mid-fighting sequence, where everyone is after Tyler and the kid, the seemingly almost-12-minute, protracted shot is brilliantly made. This type of filmmaking is challenging as hundreds or thousands of people put their magic touch to look as impressive. A lot of people are getting injured in front of the camera, and a lot of people are working endlessly day and night behind it. What’s more, Chris Hemsworth nails his part as the tough as nails guy who suffers internally more than he suffers when he gets run over and shot. Sam Hargrave’s directorial debut who has come a long way from a stunt double (Chris Evans’ as Captain America), to stunt choreographer to here. And been produced by the Russo Brothers, I can assume that MCU is indeed… a family. I admire people like Hargrave. He reminds me of other successful stunts turned directors and producers such as Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, and Zoë Bell. It is a hopeful sign that talent and hard work pay off.

So, who is this film for? For everyone who wants to forget our deeply damaged reality, consisting of shameless hypocrites and cowards who found themselves in power – or represent it. Turn off reality for a bit and see how popcorn entertainment can serve its purpose. My heart goes out to the people suffering. But remember:

“[…] Through every dark night, there’s a bright day after that. So no matter how hard it get, stick your chest out, keep ya head up…. and handle it.” ― Tupac Shakur

Stay safe!

About Elly (2009): Drama / Mystery / Thriller

About Elly.jpg

A group’s picnic takes a turn for the worse when a kid almost drowns and a woman mysteriously disappears.

Have you ever wondered what makes a film a good film? How about a brilliant film? Anyway, About Elly‘s brilliance lies in the simplicity of the story and the unfolding’s convolution. The common denominator for both is human nature and our unique ability to perplex our lives so we can give them meaning. There is an underlying beauty behind things we don’t fully understand, such as the intentions behind one’s utterances and actions and About Elly explores such notion to its core. What it also explores is the subjective perception of happiness and the false assumption that everyone finds it or experiences it the same way; something seemingly insignificant that can have incalculable consequences. The perfect storm is created when… the truth behind the intentions and happiness is revealed. And that’s what I’m gonna leave you with, story-wise.

Writer/director Asghar Farhadi has been phenomenal since the beginning of his career and I’ll follow up with more of his achievements. This is the first Iranian film to be submitted for an Oskar, and even though it didn’t make it, Farhadi’s next film did and won – A Separation (2011). This is Golshifteh Farahani’s last film before she got banned from Iran [for leaving her country and working with Riddley Scott in Body of Lies (2008)]. It is not my place to judge the policies behind the country’s decisions but she’s a heroine in my eyes and I hope one day I get to meet her. Until then, I take my hat off to all cast and crew who brought to the world cinema this masterpiece.

They say that truth is liberating, that it can set you free. Well, among others, it depends on how you find out or when you speak it.

Stay safe!