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Extraction: The Perfectly Ambiguous Ending and the Determining Quote

Hey, if you're up for an adrenalin rush and almost two hours of fast-paced machine-gunning action, you can't do better than Extraction on Netflix.  [spoilers follow]

Though, actually, Extraction is more than that.  It's a story of how a Rambo and the boy he's attempting to rescue against all odds form a real bond in the interstices of the non-stop action.  It's a story of betrayals and loyalties and just and unjust deserts.  A tale of irrepressible human emotion amidst all the bullets and blades.

But that's not what makes Extraction exceptional, and what I liked best about this movie.  It's the very ending.  We see Tyler, having just about brought Ovi to safety, get shot in the neck, and either fall or let himself fall off a bridge into the deep river below.   We see nothing, no one, rise up to the surface.  But eight months later, Ovi jumps into a pool, sits at the bottom, and swims back up to the surface.  He and we see a figure standing on the side of the pool.  It's not clear what Ovid sees.  But we the audience see a blurry figure who could be Tyler.   So the question is: Did Tyler really survive?  Or is what we are seeing just Ovi's imagination?  A perfectly ambiguous ending.

But where's what I think, and why.  Earlier in the movie, Ovi gives Tyler some advice.  "You know, you drown not by falling into a river.  But by staying submerged in it".  It's a quote from a book Ovi read in school.  And my guess is that's exactly what Tyler did when he jumped, badly wounded, off the bridge into the water below.  He fell into the river, but summoned all his strength to not stay submerged in it.  Why would the writer (Ande Parks), director (Sam Hargrave), or whoever it was, put this in the movie if not to provide this clue.

There's word that there will be a sequel, or maybe a prequel.  The filmmakers of course can go whichever way they choose.  But I think that in their hearts they know that Tyler survived.

This post first appeared on Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress, please read the originial post: here

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Extraction: The Perfectly Ambiguous Ending and the Determining Quote


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