Duration: 1 hour 57 minutes
Director: Sam Hargrave
Release Date: 24 April 2020
Streaming Platform: Netflix
Star Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Geetanjali Thapa, Randeep Hooda, Golshifteh Farahani, Pankaj Tripathi, David Harbour
A black-market mercenary Tyler Rake embarks on the most deadly extraction of his career. He, who has nothing to lose is assigned the operation to rescue Ovi Mahajan, India's biggest crime lord's son, who is kidnapped by Bangladesh's biggest crime lord.
Things go unimaginably out of control for Rake when hell breaks loose to find Ovi in Bangladesh as Rake frees him from the clutches of gangsters. But in the murky underworld of weapons dealers and drug traffickers, an already deadly mission approaches the impossible.
The movie is based on Ande Parks’ graphic novel ‘Ciudad’. The film follows Australian mercenary Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) who is recruited to rescue Ovi Mahajan Jr. (Rudhraksh Jaiswal), the kidnapped son of Indian drug lord Ovi Mahajan Sr. (Pankaj Tripathi). He’s now being held for ransom by brutal kingpin Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The character ‘Tyler Rake’ even if not a cliché, but seems familiar to many other film protagonists: men with military backgrounds and coming in to be a saviour of a nation. Chris Hemsworth as Rake is very likeable without trying very hard to mould into his character. There’s an inherent charisma to the character, and his relationship with 14-year-old Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal). Their relationship has also been shown to evolve slowly and logically. Not being very close initially, then to Rake’s referral to him as “mate” and then comes his consideration of ‘Ovi’ as more of a person than a mere package. Thus, the mission becomes more personal to him.
The fight sequences are very carefully choreographed. The action is seen to unfold in long takes by filmmaker Sam Hargrave, the latest Hollywood stunt coordinator making his directorial debut. His best sequence is a thrilling car chase as the camera tracks alongside the getaway vehicle, moves into the back seat to ride inside, pushes out the rear window to follow other cars, then moves back inside for the crash.
In one scene, Chris Hemsworth falls down a flight of stairs and Sam Hargrave tells a ‘trick’ how he did it without breaking his bones. Here’s what he said:
“There is a reason why stuntmen exist. There’s a hood on and you’re falling downstairs. You could possibly hurt yourself. The floor most of the time was padded. So instead of having to hide elbow pads, or you know, you don’t get to fall- kind of protecting yourself, you can go all out and you don’t have to worry so much about it.”
Coming to the setting of the film- it is filmed in the Indian cities of Ahmedabad and Mumbai before moving to Thailand to in Ban Pong, Ratchaburi and then finally Dhaka, Bangladesh. The buzzling Indian streets adds to the rustic flavour of the film and makes sense to the plot. The film is packed with scenes of excessive body counts, horrid executions, along with a lot of blood, exploding buildings, cars, helicopters, etc.
Although not a superhero film, it shares the genre’s familiar base: Tyler is painted as a stereotypical tough yet mellow from inside kind of a guy, tortured by personal tragedy and redeemed by his mission, even as he kills for greater good (ofcourse). Randeep Hooda plays- a kingpin deputy whose ruthlessly efficient violence is inflected by its own internal, underlying issues of paternal pathos. David Harbour also appears briefly, adding to the film’s star-factor!