Blu-ray Review: Extraction (2015)

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Lionsgate has issued a thriller called Extraction on Blu-ray and it co-stars Bruce Willis. That matter-of-fact statement is probably all that needs to be said to either hook or repel viewers. The movie played a handful of theaters at the tail end of 2015, but this is essentially a direct-to-video title. Willis has done many of these B-movies in recent years (and even some of his big screen ventures, including A Good Day To Die Hard, felt like they should've gone straight to video, too). Willis isn't top dog in Extraction. That dubious honor goes to hunky Twilight and Legend of Hercules star Kellan Lutz.

If you loved Angel Dust in the current comic book smash Deadpool, keep in mind the MMA star who portrayed that villain is Extraction's female lead. In in interview found in the special features, Gina Carano gushes about how thrilled she was to be offered the role of CIA agent Victoria, who's also Lutz's love interest. Something tells me the response to Deadpool was probably far more satisfying for her. I make a big deal about it simply because I suspect Carano's name may actually be Extraction's biggest draw now that she's a prominently-featured badass in such a phenomenal hit. 
Extraction bruce willis (380x248).jpg Astute readers will note I've yet to say much about the movie's plot. It's kind of a reversal of the last Die Hard installment, where John McClane had to rescue his son from vicious captors. Here it's Willis, as CIA agent Leonard Turner, who's captured by a gang of bad guys. It's up to his son Harry (Lutz), also an agent—though not a field-ready one, to rescue him. Harry must do this the hard way since his boss doesn't want him involved in the operation. Turns out it's Leonard himself who has kept Harry from being accepted as a field agent. Ever since Leonard's wife (Harry's mom) was killed in an operation gone wrong, he doesn't want his son in the same type of jeopardy.

Enough recap—the movie's terrible and generally a waste of 83 minutes (that's pretty short, but it feels much longer). It's predictable and humorless (except for one unintentionally hilarious moment when one of Harry's colleagues overstates his admiration for Leonard by saying—with a straight face and deadly serious tone—"Hell, I want to f*ck your dad."). 
Extraction BD (303x380).jpg Lionsgate's Blu-ray is pretty bangin', at the very least. Believe it or not, the most interesting aspect of Extraction is its highly-stylized cinematography (by Brandon Cox). In the age of homogenized digital HD sterility, the over-saturated, gritty, film-ness of its visual presentation is refreshing. The lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix packs a wallop during shootout sequences.

Extraction is unusually well-appointed in terms of supplements, given the decidedly also-ran nature of the flick. Director Steven C. Miller and star Kellan Lutz sit for an audio commentary track. There's several minutes of deleted scenes and a 13-minute, EPK-style 'making of' featurette. There's also a generous half-hour's worth of cast and crew interviews—with one notable exception (no prize if you guessed Mr. Willis).

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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