As cynical a cinematic exercise as they come, Steven C. Miller’s B-movie thriller marks yet another notch in the increasingly long belt that is Bruce Willis’ career decline. Showing up briefly throughout the proceedings to lend the film enough name recognition to land pre-sales in foreign territories, the once formidable star doesn’t even bother to hide his boredom at being trapped in the woeful Extraction.
Despite his second billing, Kellan Lutz is actually the film’s star, playing Harry Turner, a CIA analyst who longs to be in the field but whose assignment requests have been secretly sabotaged by his father, Leonard (Willis), a legendary veteran spy. But when dad gets kidnapped by a terrorist group intent on taking over the world’s telecommunications network (or something like that), Harry springs into action, embarking on an unsanctioned rescue mission tacitly endorsed by “Uncle Ken,” (D.B. Sweeney) his mentor in the agency.
Cue the ensuing violent mayhem, as Harry, who’s somehow managed to accrue skills of Jason Bourne-like proportions, passionately pursues the bad guys. Along the way he’s joined by fellow agent and ex-lover Victoria (Gina Carano), who kicks serious ass while looking seriously great in a short, tight dress.
Shot in Mobile, Ala., (doubling for, of all places, Newark, N.J.), the film features every cliché in the action-movie playbook, from the requisite scene in which the hero shows the tough guys in a biker bar who’s boss (he thoughtfully hands the bartender some cash in advance to pay for the broken bottles and jukebox) to the apparently obligatory sequence set in a strip club that provides gratuitous nudity.
Clocking in at a brief 83 minutes but feeling much, much longer, Extraction (even the title is generic) does deliver some reasonably well-staged hand-to-hand fight sequences, with the athletic Lutz and Carano demonstrating impressive physical, if not acting, skills.
The film is the product of the same production company responsible for such previous Willis duds as Vice, The Prince and Fire With Fire. Either the Die Hard star enjoys working with them, or he’s being blackmailed.
Production: Grindstone Entertainment Group, Emmet Furla Oasis Films, The Fyzz Facility, Aperture Entertainment
Cast: Bruce Willis, Kellan Lutz, Gina Carano, D.B. Sweeney, Joshua Milel, Steve Coulter, Dan Bilzerian
Director: Steven C. Miller
Screenwriters: Umair Aleem, Max Adams
Producers: Randall Emmett, George Furla, Mark Stewart, Adam Goldworm
Executive producers: Corey Large, Ted Fox, Steen Saxton, Vance Owen, Anthony Jabre, Kirk Shaw, Martin Blencowe, Stan Wertlieb, Barry Brooker, David Gilberry, Robert Jones, Wayne Marc Godfrey
Director of photography: Brandon Cox
Production designer: Nate Jones
Editor: Vincent Tabaillon
Costume designer: Bonnie Stauch
Composer: Ryan Dodson
Casting: Anne McCarthy, Kellie Roy
Rated R, 83 minutes.