From the moment I first saw Chris Hemsworth, heroically exploding to save the lives of his wife and son and an alien midwife with gigantic Astro Boy eyes in 2009’s Star Trek, I began asking myself a question. The sort of blazing, all-encompassing question that greedily gnaws at your brain until you feed it the answer it seeks. As I watched Hemsworth’s body rocket across the bridge of that spaceship, pinwheeling like a gorgeous mannequin shot out of a cannon with the glorious spiral of a game-winning touchdown pass, the thought that kept repeating in my head was, “How many children could that man defeat in a fistfight?”
When 2011’s Thor came out, and Hemsworth strode onscreen as the marble-sculpted God of Thunder and the Nordic Equivalent of Tantric Sex, the lure of the forbidden knowledge once again echoed in my skull. “How many middle-school football teams could this golden Adonis absolutely bulldoze? If he were dropped into the center of a science fair like a predator drone, would the children have the temerity to attack as a group?” I waited eagerly over the next 9 years of cinema, and though I got to watch Chris Hemsworth fight trolls, ghosts, aliens, hackers, and Koreans, I got no closer to my answer. Hollywood was simply too afraid to open this Pandora’s Box, and I cannot say I blame them. Man was not meant to look directly into the sun.
Needless to say, I was overcome with unexpected joy after watching Hemsworth’s latest film Extraction, which premiered on Netflix last month. If you’ve not seen it, Hemsworth stars as Captain Extraction (although the credits list his character’s name as “Tyler Rake” for some reason), a mercenary hired to rescue the kidnapped child of a drug lord. It’s a stunt-filled action bonanza, and Chris Hemsworth fights just about everything you can imagine – approximately 7,000 armed henchmen, a tank, inner city traffic, a helicopter, and David Harbour, which was something else I’d been waiting my entire life to see and had simply never realized it. They get into a wrestling match in Harbour’s living room and it’s like watching two grizzly bears fight over a dead hiker. But the real highlight here is that Hemsworth, at long last, wanders into a midnight street fight with a gang of weaponized children.
As expected, Hemsworth systematically dismantles those tiny bastards with a series of abdominal punches, motorcycle drops, and open-handed stepdad slaps to the face. He even grabs one kid by the ankle and swings him into a van like Mark McGwire. It’s like watching a bunch of art history students try to put a top hat on an angry gorilla. But more importantly than being the greatest minute of cinema in motion picture history, Extraction’s child gang hospitalization scene provides us with a mountain of crucial data that we can use to determine exactly how many scrappy newsies Chris Hemsworth can dispatch using nothing but his wits and the extreme physical might bestowed upon him by the keepers of the outer cosmos.
If you time the sequence, you will notice that it takes Hemsworth 51 seconds to demolish five children, approximately aged 11 to 16, weighing from around 80 to 120 pounds. That’s roughly 10 seconds per child, although to be clear that is merely the mathematical average – Hemsworth cripples a child with a motorcycle in about 4 seconds, and that poor little bastard who goes searching for him inside the van gets his arm broken in an interval of time so small that science barely acknowledges it. Also, Hemsworth is tired at this point of the film, having spent all day battling adult men. And he’s clearly holding back some, due to his tragic Dead Son™ backstory and the oppressive narrative handcuffs that prevent “good guys” from snapping 13-year-old necks in moonlit alleys. Judging by his work later in the film when he fights Chief Hopper in an Airbnb the owners generously described as “rustic”, he could’ve easily dispatched each child in considerably less time. Using this data metric, we can responsibly estimate that Chris Hemsworth could kick the shit out of an 11-to-16-year-old kid in about 6 seconds, with a 2-second margin of error to compensate for factors such as distance and malnutrition.
So, in an ideal world in which we drop Chris Hemsworth into a field with a swarm of angry children and just let the cameras roll, we could expect to see The Mighty Thor kick the living shit out of approximately 1,200 shitty teens over the course of a two-hour film. Just close your eyes and picture that for a moment. Hold your breath if necessary. Maybe turn on some EDM to set the appropriate tone for the canvas of your imagination, in which Chris Hemsworth is floating organ-detonating body blows into scores of plucky street kids. This is the movie we deserve.
What’s perhaps even more exciting about Extraction is that we can use the data we’ve collected re: Chris Hemsworth stomping out a gang of kids like an irritating campfire and extrapolate it to estimate exactly how many junior detectives David Harbour could absolutely consume. There is not a person alive who didn’t watch Stranger Things and wonder how far Harbour could throw Finn Wolfhard like a discus. Extraction brings us closer to an answer than we have ever been, precluding a surprise fight scene between Mike and Hopper in Season 4. Hemsworth and Harbour’s Tables, Coffee Pots, and Easy Chairs match lasts just about 60 seconds, and Hemsworth loses the fight. If we take what we know about Hemsworth’s child-battling formidability and apply it to this dirty-ass melee, we can safely assume that David Harbour could shave possibly one second off of Hemsworth’s TTB (Time To Beat) and crush the Artful Dodger in about five seconds, most probably with a table-splitting suplex. Therefore, in a 2-hour film, Harbour could realistically deliver enough rolling thunder WWE Attitude-era suplexes to plant 1,440 children into the earth like fence posts. The Academy would have no choice but to recognize such a landmark motion picture.
News was just announced that an Extraction sequel is on the way, so I can only hope that the producers take note of the tireless research I’ve conducted and put it to use in this new film. Be sure to join me next week when we examine The Revenant to determine how many Leonardos DiCaprio that bear could eat in a six-hour miniseries.