Netflix’s action thriller film Extraction 2 is as packed with grand shootout scenes and tight action sequences as its predecessor, with a special focus on tense brawls this time around. After miraculously surviving the events in Bangladesh from Extraction, Tyler Rake recovers while living a retired life in Austria when he is suddenly approached for his next mission—one he just cannot turn down. Extraction 2 gives some more space for the protagonist’s personal pains and struggles to be developed, to then ultimately provide a moment of catharsis that is sure to heal him better than any top-class medical facility in the world. Such a recovery is important too, as the film’s ending clearly has him preparing for the next mission, which is probably going to be more large-scale than the ones till now.
The very reason that Tyler agrees to the mission this time around is extremely personal to him. When Tyler was first introduced to us in Extraction, he was truly a broken man with very little desire to live. Perhaps that situation justified Tyler’s habit of always living on the edge and getting involved in scenarios that most would want to avoid. Over time, we learned how the man carried the excruciating guilt of having abandoned his young son during his most difficult time—when the boy was suffering from lymphoma and eventually died from it. Although the adventure and bond with Ovi last time seemed to help Tyler to a certain degree, the guilt of leaving his family behind is not easy to get over. The man is obviously still very distressed and perhaps regretful of his decision to get deployed to Afghanistan during that time, as he had desperately pushed himself away from his son and wife. Tyler’s reason for doing so was very selfish as well, as the man could not bear to see his son in pain while not registering what effect his leaving altogether would have on the boy and on his wife. That had indeed been the last time he had seen his son, and his wife had divorced him after the boy’s passing.
But Tyler seems to realize that although his chance with his son is now gone, there is still hope of at least apologizing to his ex-wife, Mia. The man did not act on this thought, though, even if we are to assume that it was already on his mind. However, when he is approached with his next mission, which is to rescue Mia’s sister, Keto, Tyler does not hesitate to agree to it. Surely, he is moved by how Keto is kept imprisoned in the Hungarian jail along with her children, but the fact that Mia herself had asked for his help made him see the opportunity to correct the mistake he had earlier committed. Even if he does not consider Mia forgiving him as a possibility, Tyler is intelligent enough to understand that this would be a good chance to at least make an attempt. After all, he had once broken his own family apart, and now there was an opportunity to save one that had earlier been close to him.
Tyler’s interactions with his sister-in-law, nephew, and niece are not the easiest at first, and it does not even seem like they were once his family members. Along with the fact that Keto and her children mostly stayed in Hungary, there is probably also Tyler’s self-developed harshness over the last few years that is to blame here. But once the rescue mission is carried out and Keto gets the chance to thank Tyler, the relationship eases up. The man is quite sensitive and caring towards the young niece, Nina, especially since she gets hurt during their escape from the prison in Hungary. On the other side, Sandro is more skeptical about Tyler, as he sees the man as the murderer of his father. Sandro also remembers Tyler abandoning his family, and unlike anybody else in the film, he brings it up, only to hurt the man. This comment touches a chord with the protagonist and possibly angers him too for a brief moment, but Tyler cannot obviously deny the charge anymore. He surprisingly opens up to Sandro, agreeing that he had indeed messed up his entire family by abandoning his young, sick child. Recalling the last time he had seen his son, Tyler admits that his biggest regret and guilt in life was that his son saw him for the last time as someone who walked out and abandoned him. As is mentioned later too, the belief that he had declared himself to be a cowardly quitter in the eyes of his son is a thought that regularly haunts Tyler.
Tyler also uses his grief in this instance of Extraction 2 to help Sandro better understand his situation. Sandro is understandably very attached to the idea that he needs to avenge his father, for he has been raised to believe himself to be a part of his father’s gang, the Nagazi. In this case, there is an interestingly stark difference between Tyler and the main antagonist, Zurab. The gangster brothers Zurab and Davit had been extremely passionate and strict about the importance of family. This idea had been planted in their heads from a very young age by their father, who always stressed the need to look out for one’s family members. This then plays as the central force of motivation for the antagonist when Tyler kills his brother Davit during the rescue mission. Zurab’s only intention in getting so many other people killed was to avenge his brother’s death. Even his uncle, who had been the one to get the brothers into starting a drug gang, cannot convince Zurab to change his mind. Interestingly, Zurab’s familial ties and his strong blood relations all start to weaken the moment someone questions him or gets in the way of his plans. This happens when the uncle tries to convince him to stop his pursuit of Tyler. Not only does Zurab first insult the man, but he also swiftly kills him without any hesitation.
Similarly, towards the end of the film, Zurab also does not mind taking Sandro hostage, only to lure Tyler and Nik to the airfield so that he can kill them. The man makes his nephew, who had always believed that his father and uncle were good, honorable men, wear the bomb jacket and essentially make Tyler surrender. Zurab also, in fact, puts Sandro in a much worse danger—that of actually committing a murder at such a young age. He orders the boy to take his revenge by shooting Tyler dead, and it is only Sandro’s goodness, possibly taught to him by his mother, that stops him from doing so and from changing his life forever. Tyler is, of course, an extremely different man from the Nagazis in this regard. Although tough and indifferent on the outside, the man is also extremely responsible and dedicated to the bonds and relationships that he once formed. Tyler can be ruthless and absolutely devastating to his enemies, but he is not someone to put his own relatives at risk, only to achieve any personal goal.
The most crucial matter for Tyler in Extraction 2 then happens to be the conversation that he has with Mia right before leaving for the final confrontation with Zurab. It is Mia who starts this conversation, perhaps knowing her ex-husband too well, for Tyler seems more comfortable keeping his sorrows to himself than having open discussions about them. When Mia admits that she asked for his help because there was nobody else she could have turned to, Tyler finally opens up. This is also the first time in the film, and presumably, the first time following their divorce, that Mia and Tyler have a proper conversation with each other. With time, as Tyler realized his mistake, Mia, too, probably understood his exact reasons for having acted in such a selfish and foolish manner back then. Perhaps now, when she sees Tyler put in all the effort to save her sister and her children, Mia once again sees good in the man and gives themselves a chance to talk.
Tyler genuinely apologizes for having abandoned Mia and their son when they needed him the most, and when Mia asks him why he had done so, the man finally admits the truth. As a father, he was too weak and demotivated, and seeing his child get hurt had started to break him. Tyler could no longer live with his own pain and had therefore fled the situation, leaving those hurting much more than him all alone to deal with their worries. But it is also quite clear in this scene that the man has felt guilty about this ever since then, and it is only now that he finally tells anyone all this. This alone takes much of the burden off Tyler’s guilty conscience, but what follows at the end of the film truly gives him a moment of catharsis.
When Mia visits Tyler in prison, the protagonist expresses one more long-awaited feeling to his ex-wife. Having apologized to her earlier, Tyler now thanks Mia for all that she has done for him in his life and for the things for which he has never expressed gratitude before. In response, Mia tells Tyler that their son’s last memory of him was not of him abandoning them but of him being extremely brave to go save people in the world. Till his very last days, the boy idolized his father and always wanted to be as courageous and strong as him. Based on Mia’s words, it does not seem that the boy was too worried about not getting to see his father either, as he was convinced and happy that Tyler must be somewhere saving hundreds of people from distress.
While hearing this is definitely emotional for Tyler, it also changes his beliefs about how his son had perceived him. This change, and almost redemption for himself, acts as a moment of relief for the man, and the guilt and burden that he had been carrying upon himself for so long now finally seem to be lifted. Extraction 2 definitely angles for a sequel at its end, and so how exactly Tyler Rake’s character will be developed from here on will be quite interesting to watch.