Extracted aka Extraction (2012)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Extracted</strong> aka <strong class="MovieTitle">Extraction</strong> (2012)

(On Cable TV, September 2014) Most low-budget SF movies to be found on cable movie channels are irremediable garbage, and knowing this only raises one question: why do I keep watching them?  The answer is found in Primer and Cube, two movies that show that a low budget can be coupled with a high imagination to deliver perfectly good SF on a budget.  Now that Cube and Primer are a decade old and aging fast, here comes Extracted to suggest (even if not as solidly) that the quest still isn’t fruitless.  Reportedly shot on a $100,000 budget, Extracted eventually manages to create an engaging SF story out of little more than a few conversations.  The scattershot beginning eventually clears up to reveal a scientist stuck in a criminal’s memories, victim of an unforeseen problem in trying to find out if the criminal has truly committed murder.  Eventually managing to make contact with his host’s mind, our protagonist tries to find a way out of his coma and find out the truth about the murder.  While the film doesn’t start out all that promisingly, it eventually develops a nice narrative velocity as it explains the rules of its universe and moves on to ever-more-complicated situations made possible by the film’s central idea.  While the ending is a bit messy, writer/director Nir Paniry is able to deliver a satisfying SF experience without fancy special effects.  I’m not convinced that the entire script holds up together, but the film does acknowledge the frailty of memories in making its final point, which is already not too bad.  Extracted is a film to be admired more than to be liked, but it works pretty well, and should satisfy jaded science-fiction fans even more than casual viewers.

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