Chris on the ‘fine dance’ that makes an action film tick and click with viewers
Chris Hemsworth’s latest edge-of-your-seat actioner “Extraction,” which began streaming on Netflix last Friday, has as much dramatic moments as thrilling action sequences in its story about a man tasked with a dangerous rescue mission: He must save the kidnapped teenage son of an Indian drug lord from a Bangladeshi crime boss.
So, to serve its story better, the 36-year-old actor and his director, Sam Hargrave, had to make sure that one didn’t overwhelm the other. That, in a nutshell, is what makes an action movie tick and click with viewers.
In our recent video chat with Chris, he did say that doing so is a complex balancing act that’s easier said than done. But that “relatable” personal story in an action film, he stressed, gives it added emotional heft that gets viewers eagerly invested in its characters’ travails.
“The action and dramatic moments of a film have to inform each other,” he explained. “It’s a fine dance between emotional scenes and having incredible action, where you’re invested in it because it’s visually unique and exciting. Then, you sort of pull the brakes a little bit and do something different in order to have people be continually engaged in the story as you reveal new things about the character.
“We had such a great foundation within the script to accomplish that. Moreover, we had to track the continuity where the characters are at every point emotionally, and knowing how that dictates his fighting style.
“Is it blind rage, and has he reached a point where he doesn’t care anymore if he dies? Or, are the stakes even higher now because he has become truly emotionally invested in the child he now wants to protect at any cost? Is it one or the other? It’s now heart versus gut instinct.”