Extraction 2 director breaks down amazing 21 minute one-shot sequence

Extraction 2 director Sam Hargrave breaks down the 21 minutes one-shot action sequence that moves from prison escape to a speeding train.

Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is back in action now that Extraction 2 has premiered on Netflix. The sequel includes plenty of hard-hitting action, but the stand-out sequence in Extraction 2 is an extended one-shot which takes us from a prison to a high-speed chase onboard a moving train.

While speaking with THR, Extraction 2 director Sam Hargrave reveals how they brought the one-shot action sequence to life.

Well, the prison portion was the first inkling of a second movie. That was the first conversation that Joe Russo and I had about the sequel. It was him, saying, “Hey, what if we open the movie with a prison escape and it’s all a oner?” And I was like, “Sounds awesome. I’m in.” And then the placement of that sequence moved throughout, but that was the conception. Once it was in script form, it was written down as the “greatest oner in cinema history,” because it reads well. It was also called a sequence that rivals Oldboy, which has that amazing one shot. So that was a lot of pressure, and I went, “Wow, how do we live up to those words?” And so the prep starts.

The ending of the sequence, which took place on the train, was actually shot first. It all had to do with actor schedules, rehearsal time, and location availability, but doing so meant that they had to lock in certain elements that couldn’t be changed. “It was very challenging because you have to make decisions while knowing that you haven’t really shot the other parts, so you don’t know exactly how it’s gonna go,” Hargrave said. “You might want to change your mind, but now you can’t because you’re backed into it. If there’s this much blood and bruising on Tyler or he’s burned on one arm, then you’re locked into that because you’ve shot it now. So, working backwards from that, it limits the creative choices. On the first movie, we shot in order, so we’d change things around as we went because we could.

The team spent three weeks on location with everybody where they “rehearsed, rehearsed, rehearsed” to make sure everything went off without a hitch. Still, the shoot proved challenging due to the sheer amount of elements in play. “We spent seven days in the mountains of the Czech Republic to shoot this train sequence on a moving train,” Hargrave said. “We landed a real helicopter, with five stunt performers inside, onto a moving train. It was wild. We had Chris Hemsworth standing on the front of a real train, firing a minigun with a real helicopter ten feet in front of him. You had helicopter blades buzzing super close, and that was Fred North, who’s the best stunt pilot in the business.

Even after shooting was completed, Sam Hargrave was tempted to break up the Extraction 2 one-shot sequence, but ultimately decided to trust the ability of the fanbase to follow it. “We asked ourselves, ‘If we set up the emotion strongly enough and they’re on board with these characters, will they follow us for 21 minutes and 7 seconds?’ But at a certain point, it’s overload, and there’s so much going on that you’re like, ‘Wow, what is happening?‘” Hargrave said. “I liken it to the Family Guy joke of when Peter bangs his knee and he keeps saying, ‘Argh, argh.’ It’s funny at first, but then it goes on a little too long and you’re like, ‘What are you doing? This is not funny anymore.’ And then it keeps going and it gets funny again because you realize now that it’s self-aware. So, for the action stuff, you’re like, ‘Wow, this is crazy. I’m in it.’ And then you’re like, ‘Okay, this is a lot, but they’re gonna get on a train now? Wow.’ And then you’re back into it, at least that’s the intent. Who knows how it plays, but the intent was to take people on a ride that they’ll hopefully never forget.

Extraction 2 is now streaming on Netflix and you can check out a review from our own Alex Maidy right here.

Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/extraction-2-one-shot-action-scene-breakdown/