It’s Friday night in the Italiano residence. Lights were off by 8:59 p.m. My popcorn was popped and buttered. My snacks were assembled. My door was closed and my 55-inch TV was blasting — it was movie night.
Despite the fact that I live in a relatively tiny room in Hoboken, New Jersey, I figured out a way to squeeze a 55-inch TV in here, in an effort to make my own personal movie theater. While 55-inches is certainly not revolutionary these days, when contrasted against an 11×9 room (this is a completely blind guess regarding the dimensions of my personal domicile), it appears to have the proportions of a movie screen. Combine that with a Bluetooth speaker and you have yourselves a legitimate little screening room.
The reason that I was so particular about my entertainment set-up — not counting the fact that I obviously love movies — is because of how prevalent streaming has become in recent years. Before we know it, Blockbusters big and small are going to be released on streaming as often as they drop in traditional movie theaters, and I wanted to be prepared for that eventuality. If you’re going to reserve one of your two precious weekend nights to watch a movie at home, you should do so in the best situation possible.
And last night, perhaps for the first time, my vision of a mini bedroom movie theater came to be as I tuckered in to watch the new Netflix action flick Extraction.
Produced by Joe and Anthony Russo (the directors of Avengers: Endgame) and starring Chris Hemsworth, Extraction is the sort of film that they just don’t make anymore. It’s a throwback 90s action movie with a modern John Wick style. In fact, there’s about a 30-minute stretch of the film that reminded me of The Raid franchise, which is about the highest compliment you can pay an action movie these days. The fight choreography is slick and stunning — I audibly yelled a handful of times. There are also multiple instances of creative camera and stunt work that suggest we haven’t seen the last from first-time director Sam Hargrave.
As for the film’s star, while seeing Chris Hemsworth (you know, the guy who plays Thor) in an action movie is nothing new, watching an in-their-prime movie star like Hemsworth in this sort of ground-level, grimy, brutally bloody role is a thrill. The Australian adds another notch to his bonafide movie star belt, as he’s able to elevate the admittedly status-quo plot and routine script into something more with his effective portrayal of the lost-in-the-abyss Tyler Rake.
Usually, movie fans have to wait until their favorite stars hit their 50s — John Wick, Taken, The Equalizer, etc –for them to appear in this sort of combat-heavy action film, so seeing a legitimate 30-something-year-old A-lister rolling around in the dirt, slashing people’s throats open before double-tapping them in the dome piece is something that we perhaps haven’t seen since the original Bourne trilogy and it remains electric.
Given our current global situation, there’s a very real chance that Extraction is the only genuine Blockbuster action flick we get this summer (fingers remain crossed when it comes to Tenet and Wonder Woman 1984), so my advice would be to treat it as such. Make a night of it. Bust out the Doritos, Sour Patch Kids, and M&M’s. Turn off your phone. Blast the TV as loud as (comfortably) possible.
Extraction is simply a solidly enjoyable action flick, but if you give it the proper respect, it can become something more: a night at the movies.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him email@example.com