Extracted is about this dude named Tom (Sasha Roiz, who you might recognize as Adriano from the epic two part season finale of the most recent season of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia) who creates a machine that allows a person to enter another person’s memories and hang out for a bit. In order to sell the machine he must first test it out to prove that it works, so it’s used to go inside of heroin addict’s mind. That heroin addict is Anthony, who is convicted of murdering his girlfriend even though he’s convinced that he didn’t do it. During the “extraction” process (which is when they are disconnected from the machine) Tom gets stuck inside of Anthony’s memories/mind, and ends up being trapped in there for over four years. Now all he wants to do is find a way out to get back home to his wife and daughter.
If that sounds familiar, it should. Extracted is a sort of low budget Inception rip-off. Just replace the addict with Cillian Murphy, memories for dreams, the dude’s mind for Limbo, and you’ve got yourself a Chris Nolan flick. Hell, even the score resembled Inception‘s, and had the Johnny Marr-style guitars plucking away in the background. I couldn’t help but think that if I wanted to watch something this similar to Inception (both creatively and stylistically) I should probably just watch Inception.
It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the infamous Asylum rip-off films though, but it still wasn’t fantastic by any means. Sasha Roiz’s performance never seemed very believable, and I felt like I could tell he was acting the entire time. He played Tom a little too… confident, I guess? Even when he was stuck in Anthony’s mind for over FOUR years he never played the character like he was losing his cool. There were scenes where Tom would literally sit there inside of the same memory for weeks on end, watching the same thing continuously play out over and over again, and the most emotion you ever really got out of him was (as he even stated once) that he was bored. I don’t know about him, but if I was trapped inside of someone’s mind for that long, I’d be royally losing my shit.
Another thing that bothered me about Extracted was how Tom and Anthony were able to communicate with each other via Anthony’s memories. It was just so weird and confusing. I know a lot of people thought Inception was confusing. I personally did not,, but THIS was confusing to me. In order to communicate, Anthony had to access the memories that Tom was residing in, then relaying a message by Tom accessing Anthony’s short term memories, in which Anthony would verbalize what he was saying to Tom in his own memory, in real time and out loud. Did you get all of that?
Not ALL was terrible about Extracted, though. Dominic Bogart, who played Anthony, turned out a pretty good performance. It was certainly the best out of the whole cast, in my opinion. You’ll actually be seeing more of him in the Sundance Selected film I Am Not A Hipster, which I’ve heard good things about, so that’s something to look forward to. The cinematography also looked great, better than some of the other lower budget indie sci-fi flicks that I’ve seen. Also, the pacing was pretty spot on and it kept my interest through the whole film, despite being so similar to Inception. So, I mean, it wasn’t a total failure. I can see average film goers who like renting random movies just to watch something, enjoying it. But for snobby film buffs like myself, I would most likely recommend a pass.
I give Extracted 3 “Asylum DVD covers” out of 5.
By Richard Pepper