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In the past year or so, Joe and Anthony Russo have shown the world a whole new side of Chris Hemsworth, but more than one, actually. In 2019, Avengers: Endgame presented the Australian actor’s ability to play Thor, with an unexpected added sense of vulnerability… and weight. In Extraction, the recent Netflix original action thriller produced by the Russo Brothers, the guy’s a freaking ninja.
As bold, resilient black market mercenary Tyler Rake, Chris Hemsworth attempts to guide an imprisoned drug lord’s kidnapped son Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) to safety out of Bangladesh, unleashing his brutal brand of gun-fu upon several human obstacles along the way. It is an impressive turn for Hemsworth, whose action movie work is more often something you would not mind your children watching (particularly Marvel), and one of the more exciting films as of late that falls under the theme of a rescue mission into hellish circumstances.
There are plenty more prime examples of tough guys (and girls) looking out for their young in cinema, in addition to other equally exciting thrillers that incorporate the same immersive, fast-paced choreography that audiences have praised Extraction for. The best of that bunch can all be streamed or rented online. These are just 10 well-known favorites that fans of this latest Chris Hemsworth special should love.
Aging former CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) is forced out of retirement when his teenage daughter (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped on a European vacation. While he and his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) fear the worst, the worst thing Mills’ enemies have to fear is him.
Why Extraction Fans Will Like It: Like Chris Hemsworth’s mercenary Tyler Rake, Bryan Mills has a “particular set of skills,” consisting mostly of punching, kicking, and unsettling glares, that quickly earn him a reputation as everyone’s favorite action movie dad. It also made Taken, from co-writer and producer Luc Besson, an instant classic of gritty abduction thrillers which spawned two sequels and a prequel TV series.
John Wick (2014)
After his car his stolen and his dog is heinously murdered, a recently widowed man (Keanu Reeves) re-enters the criminal underworld he left behind long ago to punish the one who wronged him: the son of notorious Russian crime boss. This, of course, makes him a target as well, but one most people would rather avoiding taking aim at.
Why Extraction Fans Will Like It: The deadly, titular assassin of John Wick (which is currently not available to stream anywhere, but is for rental) followed a trend set off by Taken of aging badasses who get their groove back to enact bloody vengeance. Of course, like Extraction, this visceral, expertly choreographed first chapter in an ongoing, enduringly popular franchise, sports a larger body count with far more inventively graphic ways of subduing the red shirts.
Rent it on Amazon here.
Black Hawk Down (2001)
Inspired by a true story, a large fleet of Army Rangers are dropped into Somalia to capture a known warlord’s two top lieutenants. Early on, a devastating accident occurs, turning the operation into a bid for survival and calling for Staff Sergeant Matt Eversmann (Josh Hartnett) and his crew to retrieve the soldiers left behind.
Why Extraction Fans Will Like It: Black Hawk Down is one of the more memorable rescue thrillers of its kind, particularly for how director Ridley Scott paints a harrowing portrait of the disastrous events that inspired it with a pungent, gritty realism. That unmistakable tone resonates throughout Extraction in its immersive cinematography and production design that feels like a post-apocalyptic aftermath.
Children Of Men (2006)
Speaking of post-apocalyptic aftermath, the world circa 2027 has turned to pure chaos since all women have become inexplicably stricken with infertility. However, upon the miraculous discovery that a woman is with child, burdened former activist Theo Faron (Clive Owen) is tasked with taking her out of London and to a known sanctuary.
Why Extraction Fans Will Like It: Alfonso Cuarón’s bleak Oscar-nominated thriller Children of Men is often cited as a modern masterpiece for its technical achievements, particularly the astonishing and horrifying authenticity captured by renowned cinematographer Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki. Of course, the allegorical social commentary within Faron’s journey to protect and expectant mother through a dismal dystopia is also key to its profound power.
An 11-year-old girl named Mei (Catherine Chan) becomes the target of Chinese Triads, the Russian Mafia, and dirty New York cops for her genius-level mathematical mind, which holds the key to a $30 million loot. A former officer turned prize fighter (Jason Statham) ruined by the same mobsters on Mei’s trail unexpectedly comes to her aid.
Why Extraction Fans Will Like It: The title of Safe has a double meaning, both of which are quite literal. Mei’s memorization of a numerical code that can unlock the Triad’s safe is what maker her a target, pitting Statham’s Luke Wright with the task of using any means necessary to keep the child safe.
The Raid: Redemption (2011)
A S.W.A.T. team breaks into an Indonesia apartment building that doubles as a safe house for a powerful drug lord, who traps them inside when he learns of the invasion. When they learn is that their commanding officer led them in without notifying his superiors, the operation becomes an impromptu escape that tests the instinct, skill, and endurance for the surviving crew as they face off against an army thugs.
Why Extraction Fans Will Like It: Extraction has certainly earned a reputation as one of the most enthralling action thrillers of recent memory with loving comparisons to its American contemporaries. However, if you ask me, Gareth Evans’ The Raid: Redemption, and its arguably superior 2014 sequel (neither of which are currently available to stream, but can be rented) are what set the new gold standard for cinematic depictions of hand-to-hand combat that few films before or since have come to close to reaching.
Rent it on Amazon here
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
What It's About: Years after surviving a threat on her life thanks to a soldier from a war-torn future, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) discovers that a new pair of cyborgs have been sent back again to ensure AI dominance. Much to her surprise, one Terminator identical to the one that tried to kill her (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has been programmed to protect her and her son John (Edward Furlong), who holds the key to humanity’s survival.
Why Extraction Fans Will Like It: Amid breathtaking, explosive sequences and revolutionary visual effects, the true heart and soul of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, James Cameron’s brilliant follow-up to his 1984 sci-fi slasher, is the surrogate father-son relationship between John Connor and his protector. Replace Schwarzenegger’s mechanical killing machine with Chris Hemsworth’s burdened bodyguard and you essentially have Extraction.
Rent it on Amazon here.
Years after surviving the massacre of a spaceship crew with a reptilian predator onboard, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) joins marines for a reconnaissance mission on the now colonized planet the creature came from. Much to their surprise, there are a lot more of them than they expected.
Why Extraction Fans Will Like It: Amid its relentlessly intense action sequences, moments of horrific sci-fi suspense, and Stan Winston’s mesmerizing animatronics that bring the Xenomorphs to life, the true heart and soul of Aliens, James Cameron’s brilliant follow-up to Ridley Scott’s 1979 creature feature, is the surrogate mother-daughter relationship between Ripley and the orphaned Newt (Carrie Henn). Replace Weaver’s reluctant intergalactic warrior with Chris Hemsworth’s hardened mercenary (and, of course, do away the shit-ton of vicious monsters) and you essentially have Extraction.
Man On Fire (2004)
Former CIA operative John W. Creasy (Denzel Washington) is hired to protect Lupita Ramos (Dakota Fanning), the 9-year-old daughter of a wealthy Mexico City industrialist. When Creasy fails to prevent “Pita’s” abduction, he swears to punish those responsible.
Why Extraction Fans Will Like It: From late director Tony Scott, Man on Fire (which has no current home for streaming, but does for rental) bears numerous similarities to the tone and abduction-themed narrative of Extraction. The biggest difference between is that Chris Hemsworth’s burdened bodyguard has a lot more screen time with Rudhraksh Jaiswal, the child he is hired to protect, than Washington has with Fanning, the child he is hired to protect.
Rent it on Amazon here.
What It's About: A Chinese nuclear power plant and the American commodities market suffer a devastating cyberterrorist attack which was achieved by code originally written by convicted hacker Nick Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth). Hathaway is released from prison when he agrees to help find and stop the perpetrator.
Why Extraction Fans Will Like It: As you should already be able to tell, Blackhat is in no way a rescue thriller like Extraction. However, it is a bleak, stylized, international action flick from none other than Heat director Michael Mann and starring your good buddy Tyler Rake.
Rent it on Amazon here.
What do you think? Will fans of Chris Hemsworth’s lates thriller who are eager for some more over-the-top gritty action get just what they asked for with these movies, or did I unintentionally extract a few essentials from the selection? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for more information and updates on the hit Netflix movie and additional streaming recommendations here.