Directed by Nir Paniry
Extraction is a fresh piece of cinema that injects a healthy dose of sci-fi that is not only believable in the way it is executed, but is easy to understand too. Never at any moment is the film beyond the understanding of the average viewer, which allows us to watch the film and enjoy it as a piece of entertaining drama. Granted, the inventive sci-fi element is what really captured my imagination and the way it is presented is quite interesting to the viewer. We are introduced to Thomas Jacobs, a highly intellectual engineer who’s project could help people and change their lives for the better. We’re quickly brought up to speed with the ground-breaking technology by flashes of the work in progress, whilst Tom’s explanation at a dinner table narrates the footage. When Tom becomes trapped after the demonstration, the film shifts subject, with the technology and Tom’s hope for escape sharing screen time with Anthony’s memories – memories of a man who is convinced he didn’t kill his girlfriend. Elements of Groundhog Day, where scenes are repeated over and over, feature in the film and are used to great effect to explain Tom’s situation and the way in which he can communicate with Anthony. I rather like this method used in films, which we’ve seen in the likes of The Butterfly Effect and Misfits, though I dislike Groundhog Day, funnily enough.
Whilst having a pretty unique subject matter, the film could not succeed without its remarkable cast. Sash Roiz stars as trapped engineer Tom, a smart, likeable guy that tried to do his best by his girlfiend Abbey (Jenny Mollen) and their unborn child, but ended up trapped inside the mind of a convict. Dominic Bogart brings life to his character Anthony, a heroin addict who is accused of shooting his girlfriend Adrienne (Augie Duke) at her sister’s house. Whilst living in Anthony’s memories, Tom sees the life that Anthony has led: a life of hope, love, crime and regret. Anthony seems to be a complicated character, someone who does wrong but then regrets it later – hardly cold-blooded. His father, Martino, played superbly by Frank Ashmore, is fed up of his son’s pleas and false promises, and although visits Anthony behind bars, refuses to believe in his son unless he comes out of prison clean off drugs. A small role by Nick Jameson as Richard, the go-between for Tom and the Justice Department, packs quite a punch too, as the catalyst who led Tom to rushing his invention and becoming trapped.
Extraction keeps you on the edge of your seat, entertained throughout the 1 hour and 25 minutes running time. Director Nir Paniry never misses a beat and ensures the film is neither too abrupt or too drawn out. It feels like every piece of film which you see on screen is there for a reason, and the outcome is an exciting, enjoyable hi-tech flick.