The Ending of 'Extraction,' Explained

Evan Romano

From Men's Health

SPOILER WARNING: The following story contains spoilers for the 2020 Netflix film, Extraction. The headline is literally about the ending. Please don't read any further if you don't want to spoil the movie for yourself! If you do want to spoil it for yourself, please feel free to proceed.

While Chris Hemsworth has been best known for playing the godlike superhero Thor since 2011, he's also proven that he's a more than adept action hero even without any superpowers. The latest film that let's Hemsworth flex those muscles (figuratively and literally) is Extraction, a thrill-inducing trip of a Netflix film from first-time director Sam Hargrave and produced by Hemsworth's old pals from the MCU, Joe and Anthony Russo (who, of course, directed Avengers: Endgame, among other films).

And while Hemsworth doesn't get to wield Mjolnir as Tyler Rake in Extraction, he does get to kick a whole lot of ass. The movie, too, gets to do something those Marvel films don't usually get to do either: have an ambiguous ending. And even though the movie has a ton of action and violence—including a super-impressive 11-minute single-shot scene—it's got a concluding sequence of moments and final shot that will challenge its viewers to think a bit even once the credits start rolling.

Here are some of the questions we have after that Extraction ending.

Does Tyler Rake survive?

That's a good question. Conventional logic here would give a resounding yes, Tyler did not die, and for a few reasons. First of all, while there's a ton of action, shooting, and killing throughout the film, the movie is still largely grounded in reality. No one has special powers, no one's coming back from getting shot in the head, et cetera, et cetera. So, when Tyler is already quite injured walking that highway at the end of the movie and gets shot in the neck once more, that's a lot for a person to recover from. It looks like he's bleeding out.

There's also the matter of the recurring image of Tyler's late son, who we learned earlier died of Lymphoma at only 6 years old. In a conversation with Ovi (played by Rudhraksh Jaiswal), we find out that he wasn't even there when his son died—he volunteered to serve in the armed forces, because he couldn't bear to watch the decline of son's health. One can assume this is why Tyler's flashes of his son on the beach throughout the film are so blurry—as much as he doesn't want it to happen, his memory, and, thus, his mental imagery of his son, is fading.

After Tyler is shot in the neck at the end of the movie, though, he has another flash. This time, the flash of his son is crystal clear. This could indicate one of two things: either he is about to join his son in the land of the no-longer-living, or he's having a near-death experience, with images of his son hitting him in that rarely achieved state.

We don't know for sure if Tyler survived or not, and that's obviously by design. Once critically injured, though, he manages to tumble over the side of the bridge from. Remember, we saw him do something similar earlier in the film, in his very first scene. He was drinking a beer (of all things) and jumped from a ridiculously high height into a body of water. Foreshadowing? Yes. Confirmation he's alive? Possibly, because Farhad (Suraj Rikame), the boy who shot him, was clearly looking for a body and didn't see a thing.

Who was watching Ovi at the very end?

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

The figure Ovi is watching at the very end of the movie seems to be the everlasting question of Extraction, and like the spinning top at the end of Inception, it's probably not a question we were ever meant to get a definitive answer. That being said, despite all the logic and evidence that would seem to point toward Tyler's demise...who else could this possibly be? It's clearly a white man in a jacket and hat, and, well, basically no one else would make any sense.

For the movie to end with Ovi being watched over by anyone else—after taking a similar high jump into a body of water and subsequent underwater meditating/lingering to what we just saw Tyler do—would make no sense from a narrative and storytelling standpoint. And with a script written by Joe Russo, you can feel pretty safe that he came into this film with a plan.

According to an interview Hargrave did with Collider, the movie's original ending included an explicit death for Tyler, and the reaction from test audiences was split. So the ending was changed, with the intent of hopefully leaving audiences talking at the end of the movie. “What would hopefully happen is people will be discussing that afterwards, and you get to say which one you feel is right for you,” Hargrave said. Mission accomplished! But this change from a gloomier ending also points toward Tyler being alive in the new one.

Does this mean we could get an Extraction 2 down the line? Well, we probably shouldn't get ahead of ourselves. But whenever people can start making movies again, it's reasonable to think that option will be on the table.

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