HOLLYWOOD—I was a massive fan of the Chris Hemsworth flick “Extraction” that debuted on Netflix in 2020. I just found myself so invested in the action-flick that I don’t recall taking my eyes off the screen for a second once the movie started. At the end of the first flick, it was almost a given that Tyler Rake (Hemsworth) had died after falling into that water after being shot. However, this is Hollywood, and thy can always find a way to retcon something to deliver more story as we see in “Extraction II.”

The good thing about this sequel is it picks up immediately where the last movie ended giving the audience an explanation as to how Tyler survived. The latest mission has proven to be too much for Tyler who has decided to hang up his mercenary roots and retreats to cabin life where he watches reality TV, “Dancing With the Stars” to be specific. I loved the wink to be honest.

However, Tyler doesn’t stay retired for too long as he finds himself asked by a stranger to rescue his ex-wife’s sister and her two children who are being imprisoned by her ruthless husband Davit Radiani (Tornike Bziava) at a Tkachiri Georgia prison. I will admit the setup here was not great, but I just rolled with the punches. Seeing the return of Nik (Golshifteh Farahani) and Yaz (Adam Bessa) as members of Tyler’s team to help with this latest journey was vital to having some character connections.

The narrative did make a major improvement by shedding more light on Tyler’s past which has been a massive mystery in the first flick. Here, the viewers get a piece of Tyler’s life, his struggles and worst fears. What “Extraction II” does so well is give the audience what it wants: action and massive action. I think you can get away with an action-movie that you cannot with other flicks is giving the audience they want with minimal story.

Is there a ton of character development here? Not really, we get small slices of Hemsworth’s character, but it is not enough to completely force the audience to see Tyler in a completely new light? No, but as a spectator I truly didn’t care because this movie shoves so much action in your face it is indeed a massive distraction, but I was ok with it. The gunfire, beyond explosive; the hand-to-hand combat battles, some of the best I’ve witnessed in 2023. The tension and suspense of what will happen with these characters keeps the audience immersed in WANTING to know how things will end.

I will admit one of the characters in the flick annoyed me to the core with his antics and decisions that he made. I rather not spill that information so I don’t spoil the narrative for the viewer, but at the same time that is a testament for the writers and the director to frame the audience into this world where one decision can have deadly consequences. There is a solid villain in Zurab (Tornike Gogrichiani), who is Davit’s overprotective brother, and a fierce opponent to Tyler.

The big climax or what the audience is made to believe is so exciting and the ending is a gut punch to the audience, where you think you know what to expect and then a curveball is delivered courtesy of director Sam Hargrave and writer Joe Russo. I cannot wait to see what transpires next because something tells me a third installment is in the future for the “Extraction” franchise and I cannot wait to see what unfolds.