Extracts from EXTRACTION

Starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Extraction is a Netflix movie plotting the events that took place in a span of two days (and eight months) in India and a little bit in Australia. Here’s a brief overview of the movie.

Tyler (Chris Hemsworth) is a mercenary who has been recruited on a mission to rescue the teenage son of an Indian gangster, who’s in jail. The boy, Ovi, was kidnapped behind a club, after disobeying his uncle’s orders not to go anywhere after school. Tyler locates the boy and rescues him from the hands of some really bloodthirsty rascals. He’s on his way to the point of extraction but there’s trouble on board the boat serving as their getaway vehicle.

Ovi’s uncle, an ex-special forces soldier named Saju, who himself called on the extraction team to rescue the boy, double-crossed them by not making the due payment. He slaughters those on board the boat together with the sniper watching out for Tyler and the boy. There’s chaos looming as Amir, the rival gangster of Ovi’s dad, calls for a lockdown of Mumbai, the capital of India. Saju and the police get into hot pursuit of Tyler, which he escapes with the boy, but not without a brutal battle of bullets and fists.

Tyler is commanded to ditch the boy as the mission has been compromised. But he just wouldn’t! Through many fights, blood, sweat and tears, Tyler, Saju and Ovi got to safety at the bridge which was the opening scene for the movie. However, Saju gets sprayed with bullets and Tyler gets shot with one last bullet on his way to the chopper. He shuffles breathlessly to sit on the edge of the bridge, falling off and ending his painfully depressed life. Only Ovi remained alive- after all, he was the mission! He was taken aboard the chopper and returned to school like any normal boy.

8 months later, Neysa, the boss of the mercenary team, puts a bullet in Amir’s head, murdering him in cold blood.

Here are some interesting cues from the movie:

# Fight, even in your pain

Recently, I learnt something intriguing about the scorpion’s tenacity in Scorpion’s Revenge. How headstrong the scorpion is even in the face of imminent pressure and danger, is worth emulating. It still fights the opposition. It still perseveres despite the enormity of the enemy attacks.

Soldiers are amazingly rugged unrelenting fighters. Tyler was determined to fight his way through despite the pain he felt. Whether it was with a broken arm or a wounded limb, he kept fighting.

Reminds me of what Jesus said: “…be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life…He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (Revelation 2:10,11).

Paul charged young Timothy to “Fight the good fight of faith…” (1 Timothy 6:12).

# Some memories create the vision for your future

Tyler’s son died at the age of lymphoma at the age of 6. That must have been a very devastating event for him that led him on a spiral slide of depression. In the movie, he kept catching glimpses of his little son on a seashore, apparently playing with him.

I believe that memory created for him a vision of preserving the life of another man’s son. Truth is, Tyler had every reason to bolt when he found out that the mission had been compromised but he did not leave the boy behind. Rather, he went as far as working together with Saju, the traitor who had double-crossed Tyler’s team.

Sometimes, your worst pains (memories of them) can serve as the motivating force for you to make an impact in the lives of others that will make the world a better place. Whatever you have been through or are going through this moment is doubtless a learning curve which you should not despise at all. Learn all you can from it and when the opportunity presents itself, protect the life of that boy who could be another man’s son!

# Wits do not equal wisdom

I was really fascinated by the rooftop scene in which Amir’s right-hand man was trying to catch the culprit who had stolen Amir’s money. So, here are a group of teenagers, obviously homeless and ‘kubolor’ boys, who are terrified at what would happen to them next. The very first one was thrown off the roof. Now, this man was coming to get the next one to dispose him off, like he did the other. “Wait!” the eldest of the boys interjected. Then he went on to say that he knew who had stolen the money. When asked who it was, he said it was the boy who had been thrown off the roof.

Amir was impressed and commended the boy for his smartness. But as always, young people, especially teenagers, will always do something to prove how inexperienced and foolish they are. Later, he went with “his boys” to challenge Tyler with guns and machetes. They ended up “chopping dirty slaps” and nursing broken limbs.

Your smartness does not equal wisdom. Wisdom is a function of maturity and you must receive it from above both in training and impartation. Don’t assume that you are wise merely because of a few commendations from those you look up to. Be humble and learn.

# Sewers can be a temporary hiding place of relief

I can only imagine how that “gutter” as we call it in Ghana stank! Not just any gutter but a gutter in a market! 😷 But Tyler and Ovi had to literally sit in that stinking, rat-infested gutter in hiding and waiting for someone to pick them up. Mind you, Ovi was a rich boy who was accustomed to high living standards. But here he was, hiding in a stinking sewer because his life was all that mattered at that point! He didn’t think of staying in the open to breathe properly.

Sometimes, you may have to be in the sewer to survive for a season. Wait patiently and you will breathe properly soon enough!

# Wealth makes puppets of the mighty

A whole colonel was threatened with the cost of losing his finger, having been told to do the impossible: close down the city! Who was ordering? A wealthy gangster, of course!

If you submit to anybody to receive anything from them, you are likely their slave, and you’re likely going to have to do their bidding always.

At a latter scene, he was again taking orders to send in two units of soldiers to the bridge. He was not really acting in his own authority. He was now merely a pawn on the chessboard of dominion.

# One wrong friend can send you on a course of doom

As already noted, Ovi had been given firm instructions to not go anywhere after school. But then, here he was at the club as a teenager. Why? Because of the influence of one wrong friend. No wonder Paul says, “Be not deceived. Evil communications corrupt good manners.” (1 Corinthians 15:33). Can you imagine that after taking him to the club, his friend was also trying to lure him into smoking weed?! Insane, right? And that’s the point Ovi was kidnapped.

The scene in which Tyler’s friend wanted to trade Ovi for $ 10 million really taught me that indeed the love for money is the root of all evil. Hmmm! The height of wickedness! No wonder he died at the hands of the very person he was trying to sell off.

Choose your friends wisely. More importantly, choose your counsel wisely.

# One moment of disobedience can turn into two days of displeasure

Simple instruction: Don’t go anywhere after school. But Ovi would not listen! And that’s how come his uncle and Tyler had to pay the price of their lives for his extraction!

Hobbs & Shaw: A Leadership Parable in its own Right

I’m not one to immediately go in for a movie upon its release or primiere but I seem to have done some of that this year alone. First, it was with Spiderman: Far from Home and now Hobbs and Shaw. If you have ever watched any of the Fast and Furious movies and are a fan of Sci-Fi and “action”, Hobbs and Shaw is your movie! My objective is not to hype the movie in this post but to simply extract some precious gems from the reel of this epic flick!

I like to call this movie a leadership parable in its own right! Just so you get a background to the movie, let me give you a brief summary. The movie opens up with MI6 agents trooping into a facility to secure a lethal bioweapon. Shaw’s sister, who is one of the MI6 operatives, obtains the weapon after slaying the guards on site. Just as she is about to leave with her team, these guys in black storm the place and begin to slaughter the MI6 people. Then appears this AI-powered cyborg who had a bullet to his head and two to his chest prior to his “resurrection.” Shaw’s sister notices she has to run for her life so she does, with urgency. Knowing she can’t get the weapon to safety without being killed, she injects herself with it and off she goes!

That was when these sworn enemies, Hobbs and Shaw, are chosen by two separate agents in two different countries to WORK TOGETHER on the case! How in the world would that work?! Well, if you are to watch the movie, you will know. Point is, if you have not watched the movie, I wouldn’t want to spoil it any further for you! So here goes 7 treasures distilled from Hobbs and Shaw:

1. Strategy is key in winning the war.

A couple of months ago, I got sucked into the essence of a verse of Scripture in Ecclesiastes 9:18. It says, “Wisdom is better than weapons of war:…” How true! Hobbs went back to his family in Samoa in a bid to mobilize help to defeat the demented cyborg being controlled by Eteon. Upon arrival, he checked on his weapons stash only to find out his mum had disposed them off. How were they going to defeat an army of men possessing the most-technologically advanced weaponry in history? I mean, literally, their guns are activated by a chip, meaning you cannot shoot with it if you do not have the chip!

But Hobbs, with only the tools of a mechanic and a team of mechanics, managed to overpower this AI-powered army! How? By a well-calculated strategy. I was highly fascinated by the scene in which they made a long chain of their cars in their bid to get the helicopter not to fly away!

What I learnt was that with the little you have you can still win the war! That mountain in front of you can be levelled if you plan and strategize properly. Your business can succeed despite your few resources. Think. Read. Explore. Research. Base your decisions on objective data. Use the little you have to obtain your goal!

2. The bond of unity is so important

Remember those guys who decided to build a tower that would reach the heavens? God said of them that nothing they had imagined to do would be withheld from them. Why? Because they were one. Unity is so critical to the success of any enterprise. Those Samoan mechanics spoke one language. Their minds were synced!

Seeing the same thing as your leaders, saying the same thing as your leaders and doing the same thing will always bring forth good success!

As Jesus said, “…I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” (John 8:28)

3. The leadership of a mother

Hobbs’ mother rallied those Samoan mechanics to turn those AI-powered soldiers to smithereens! Her stentorian voice commanded them to go forth in boldness! In every organisation, have at least one strong woman to lead at least one team. The results are astounding! Ask Bishop Dag!

4. The love of a mother

After 25 years of abandonment, your son returns home, not to render an apology but “to save the world.” What would you do?

Never once did I see her even criticise Hobbs for his neglect of the family. She received him lovingly and on top of that, she shut his brother up when he declined to help him.

Make room for the inadequacies of your subordinates, OK?

5. Teamwork makes the dream work.

I told you that Hobbs and Shaw were sworn enemies. By the time that they were in battle with that psycho cyborg, they had put aside their differences. Why? Because they had to defeat the common enemy: the main threat. How often we bicker and fight amongst ourselves while our common enemy laughs uncontrollably at our folly!

When Hobbs and Shaw worked together in defeating that AI-powered cyborg, they managed to disrupt his AI capabilities that were calculating their moves and enabling him to evade their every move.

Put away your petty differences and work as a team in the organisation and the dream will work.

6. Communication and reporting are essential.

Something worth learning I saw the cyborg doing was he gave an update on his progress. He hinted his plan but then Eteon told him plans had changed.

I love what that Roman Centurion told Jesus when he asked Him to heal his servant (see Luke 7:8). He said to Jesus, “I am a man under authority…” He realised that the only reason for his authority was that he was under authority. What makes your authority legit is the fact that you are submitted to legitimate authority.

Reporting and communication with superiors are key because that’s how you know whether you’re on course with the mission. Objectives may change.

That’s why prayer is so essential. Don’t rely on that which you received a decade ago to determine what to do now- there may be a little tweak in your current objective pertaining to that assignment you have. Pray! Fellowship with the Holy Ghost!

7. He who resurrects you masters you

That AI-powered cyborg thought he was immortal until Eteon pulled the plug!

Whomever you submit yourself to to receive from controls your future.

If you trust Jesus to give you eternal life, you are eternally His. That means you are no longer yours. You are not your own master anymore. He is now your Lord!

On the other hand, all the devil has to offer you is temporal and fleeting! It will all pass away!

Make Jesus the Lord of your life and receive eternal life and your resurrection will be a genuine one!

You wouldn’t have to die twice!