With millions of people still cooped up at home due to the Coronavirus with plenty of free time on their hands, Netflix’s Extraction has been generating a lot of buzz since it dropped on the streaming platform yesterday, with fans seeming to get a real kick out of seeing Chris Hemsworth headlining an old-school action movie with a high body count and no superheroics in sight.
Sam Hargrave’s feature debut instantly establishes him as a name to watch in the action genre, with Extraction basically 117 minutes of wall-to-wall set-pieces that throw everything except the kitchen sink at Hemsworth’s Tyler Rake. While it doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel when it comes to the story, and the vast majority of the plot beats are the same things we’ve seen in countless similar movies over the years, the expertly-staged choreography and often brutal violence are what set it apart from the pack.
Netflix seem to have franchise potential in mind for Tyler Rake, too, and one of the most hotly-discussed aspects of Extraction is the ending. After seemingly suffering a fatal gunshot wound, the grizzled veteran drops off a bridge with what appears to be his last ounce of strength, with the movie poised to end on a real downer.
However, the final shot of the film shows a character that remains deliberately out of focus, meaning that Hemsworth may or not be returning to shoot, stab and maim more bad guys in the future. In a recent interview, Hargrave explained the decision to end Extraction on such an ambiguous note, admitting that the real ending is whatever the viewer wants it to be.
“What would hopefully happen, is people will be discussing that afterwards, and you get to say which one you feel is right for you… We want to appeal to as many people as possible without compromising the integrity of the story. And so, we think a pretty good compromise is to make an ambiguous ending. 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, and then now you go, ‘Yes, I’m satisfied.’ 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.”
The endings to most action movies tend to be pretty black-and-white, so it’s refreshing to see Extraction try something a little different. We’ll just have to leave it up to you though to decide if Tyler Rake survived or not.