In Extraction 2, Even the Director Was Jumping from Helicopters and Running on Moving Trains

To catch the best shots, director Sam Hargrave wore his cameraman, stuntman, and director hats all in one go just to keep up with Chris Hemsworth.
IMAGE Netflix

If you thought Extraction was wild, wait until Extraction 2 drops on Netflix on June 16. During Netflix’s APAC premiere of Extraction 2 in Manila, lead actor Chris Hemsworth and director Sam Hargrove gave fans a lot to be excited. Hargrave even teased at the 20-minute one-shot action scene that required Chris Hemsworth to be lit on fire. According to the director, the “oner” is a whopping 21 minutes and seven seconds. And to get that perfect shot, Chris Hemsworth was set on fire eight times for just one scene in Extraction 2. Just another Tuesday on set.

Photo by Netflix.

Hargrave has years of experience on action sets under his belt. A stunt coordinator, stuntman, and actor, Hargrave played a huge role in the stunt coordination of some of the biggest movies in Hollywood. Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America: Civil War, and Deadpool 2 are just some of the films he helped shape.


With over 15 years of experience in stunts, it’s almost as if Hargrave’s entire body of work were all leading to this film, where the stunts were so insane that even the director was jumping from helicopters and running on trains. To catch the best shots, Hargrave wore his cameraman, stuntman, and director hats all in one go just to keep up with Chris Hemsworth.

Photo by Netflix.

“I had to traverse the top of a moving train and walk underneath the rotor downwash of a helicopter three feet away from me,” said Hargrave to Esquire Philippines at the Manila junket. “I had to try to outrun Chris and everybody on [set]… Rather than use a camera vehicle, I was like, ‘I could run next to these guys’ and run while holding the camera.”

“Mostly doing it backward,” interjected Chris Hemsworth.

“[I would] strap myself to the front and back of moving vehicles with a camera arm to try to get in places that we were unable to get a vehicle arm. I was on wire rings dropping from second stories to first stories following things,” added Hargrave. “A lot of crazy stuff, nothing crazier than I did as a performer. But I think that background allowed me to do some of these things and put the camera where sometimes you're not seeing it in action movies.”

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Photo by Netflix.

According to Hemsworth, about 90 percent of all the action in the movie is happening on set. In comparison to his other big franchises, Extraction 2 relies more on real-time production than post-prediction to give the action added authenticity. Why use CGI to land a helicopter on a train when you can make it happen in real life?

Extraction 2 is only Hargrave’s second feature film to direct. The first, Extraction, did phenomenally well for a first-time full-feature director, and Hargrave credits the success of the first film to his perspective—As a stuntman and viewer, he directs as a fan.

“What do I want to see?” Hargrave asks himself on every action set. The action movie industry can be competitive when it comes to stunts, leading to extravagant and inauthentic scenes, but the Extraction 2 director is adamant that he’s not trying to “outpunch” anyone. He’s just here to make great action movies with the POV of a veteran stuntman, and most importantly, a fan. 


Catch Extraction 2 on Netflix on June 16.

Photo by Netflix.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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