January 12, 2016
Thanks to the "Die Hard" films, Bruce Willis has earned a huge reserve of goodwill as an action hero in films. Even though he is getting older already, he is still a bankable movie star. Unfortunately, many of his projects in the past decade though are of very erratic quality as he would do some pretty generic and lazy action flicks which were barely a shadow of what he is capable of doing. Even the last "Die Hard" film ("A Good Day to Die Hard") did not exactly reach the same lofty standards of entertainment Willis had set for his career.
In "Extraction," Leonard Turner (Bruce Willis) was a CIA operative whose wife was once gunned down dead in front of their young son Harry. Ten years later, Harry (Kellan Lutz) also undergoes combat training, but could not seem to get approved for field service. One day, Leonard gets abducted by terrorists. Unsatisfied by the efforts of the agency, Harry goes on his own unsanctioned operation to rescue his father as well as recover a certain secret government defense project from enemy hands.
If the poster and trailer made you think you were there to watch a Bruce Willis film, alas, it is not. Willis were just in scenes that bookended this film. He was not really required to do too much here, except look cool and unruffled and maybe confuse the story a bit. His name was just there to give this film some semblance of credibility. Well their ploy worked, it got me to watch this.
The bulk of the middle section, the main meat of this action flick was care of that rather unremarkable hunk named Kellan Lutz, who can never seem to get his career launched. Despite roles in a big film franchise like the "Twilight Saga" and headlining his own forgettable films like "The Legend of Hercules," full stardom continues to elude this guy. I think this new one will not really help advance his career too much.
Mixed Martial Arts champion, Gina Carano, was there to help inject some much-needed adrenaline and charisma. Unfortunately, I felt her awesome fight skills were underused here to make Lutz shine more as the main hero. She was even made to become a damsel in distress at one point so that Lutz needed to rescue her -- bad idea. Maybe if Carano had played Willis' offspring instead of Lutz, the film would probably have been more interesting.
If you thought that the synopsis read just like any other B-grade action film, alas, it really was. The main story was thin and absurd, but okay, a great story is not really what this film like this is going for. As consolation, the fight and action scenes were at least bone-crunching and explosive. They were nothing more spectacular than the next B-grade action flick, but they kept the film from becoming a total waste of time. 3/10.