The 'Extraction' Ending Was Purposefully Left Ambiguous

Photo credit: Jasin Boland
Photo credit: Jasin Boland

From Esquire

This post contains spoilers for Netflix's Extraction.

Chris Hemsworth's new Netflix movie Extraction is as big as action can get on the small screen. Directed by stunt coordinator Sam Hargrave, the film follows Hemsworth's buff and bloodied hero Tyler Rake on a mission to save the kidnapped son of a high powered drug lord. When the rescue mission does not go according to plan, Rake and the boy, Ovi (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) are sent on a wild and violent chase around Dhaka, Bangladesh. The two form a bond along the way, leading Rake to abandon his mission to get Ovi to safety, even though it means sacrificing his payment and possibly even his life.

In the climax of the film, Rake gets shot in the neck and falls off a bridge just as it appears he's gotten Ovi to safety. While it seems clear that Rake did not survive the mission, a short afterward makes this ending a bit more ambiguous. The final scene flashes forward eight months after Rake's supposed death. Ovi is alive and swimming in a pool. When the boy comes up to the surface for air, the audience sees a figure in the distance that resembles Rake. It's unclear if this is really Rake, alive and well, or a figment of Ovi's traumatized mind.

As Hargrave told Collider Extraction originally ended with Rake clearly dying:

“In the original script...Rake does not live. His story was complete because he found something to keep him alive, and his journey was complete when he came to redemption through sacrifice. He made the choice he was okay with. He had come to terms with his past and the choice he made in the present saved this kid, and if that meant him dying, so be it. And that was his journey in my mind.”

However, as Hargrave explains, they shot multiple endings for the film, and when they tested them out, audiences were split down the middle on whether or not they thought Tyler Rake should live or die. So, because the team wanted the film to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, they compromised with the ambiguous, choose-your-own-adventure ending we saw.

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“If people on one hand feel like the story is complete and is a story of redemption through sacrifice, then for them, it’ll be where the kid is imagining [Rake standing there], and then now you go, ‘Yes, I’m satisfied,’” Hargrave said. “If you feel like you love Tyler Rake, and you love Chris Hemsworth, and you want a sequel, and you’re like ‘There’s no way, you can’t kill him!’ then that’s Tyler Rake standing there looking at you. So we kind of purposefully did not pull focus to the character standing there.”

So, from the sounds of it, Rake is dead until Netflix decides that Extraction needs a sequel.

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