Saturday, 24 August 2013

Extract (2009)

Another enjoyable comedy written and directed by Mike Judge, this may be his weakest film to date but it's still a fun viewing experience thanks to a great cast working with a great script.

Jason Bateman plays Joel, the owner/manager of an Extract plant. All is going pretty well for Joel apart from the fact that he can't seem to get home before eight o'clock, which is the time that his wife (Kristen Wiig) puts her sweatpants on. Once the sweatpants are on, Joel gets nothing and he's a bit frustrated by his lack of sex life. When a work-related accident leads to loyal worker Step (Clifton Collins Jr.) losing one of his testicles, Joel finds himself the unwitting payday opportunity for Cindy (Mila Kunis), a thief who realises that she can engineer a meeting with Step before manipulating him into suing the company for more money. Meanwhile, Joel also makes the mistake of following the advice of his friend Dean (Ben Affleck) and hiring someone to seduce his wife, supposedly leaving his conscience clear to begin his own affair.

It may not be as brilliantly wired into the consciousness of all working Joes (a la Office Space) or full of the easy, big laughs of Idiocracy but this still deserves to be appreciated by anyone after comedy that aims higher than most.

Judge is a great talent behind the camera. There may not be too many tricks and flourishes onscreen but he does what's needed to keep things moving along and set up every scene full of that memorable dialogue.

Bateman is good in the main role, playing the kind of role that he can play in his sleep, and Kunis is believably cute and charming. It's easy to imagine her getting away with just what she gets away with. Wiig is also very good in an atypical role, as is Ben Affleck, playing someone slightly addled from a life centred around far too many drugs. Clifton Collins Jr. is a sweet enough "mark" and there is good support from J. K. Simmons, T. J. Miller, Betsy Palmer, Gene Simmons, David Koechner (also in a slightly atypical role, as a persistent and dull neighbour) and Matt Schulze.

All in all, Extract is well worth your time. By the time the end credits roll, there's nothing major to mull over but it's simply a nice, consistently amusing, character piece that won't disappoint.



  1. Good review Kevin. While it made me laugh at times, the movie still feels like Judge trying a bit too hard to reclaim the charm he had with Office Space. However, it just feels forced here, where it was more charming and natural with that movie.

    1. Thanks Dan. It does feel a bit forced, but I still like it enough. :-)