6
Sep
2009
Review: Extract
Extract
Jordan
Joel (Jason Bateman) is a simple man. All he wants is to work in his extract factory, drink at a sports bar. And have sex. He definitely, really wants to have sex. Unfortunately for him, his wife Suzie (Kristen Wiig) has a firm sweatpants rule and his overbearing, talkative neighbor (David Koechner) keeps getting in the way. Logically, there's only one solution (as provided by Joel's friend Dean, played hilariously by Ben Affleck): he has to hire a gigolo (Dustin Milligan) to seduce his wife so he can have a guilt free affair with the new temp Cindy (Mila Kunis). Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to Joel, Cindy is actually a con artist there to take advantage of a recent work related accident.

If it all sounds a little complicated, don't worry, it isn't. As parsed out over the course of 90 minutes, the plot of Extract is easy to follow. From the mind of writer-director Mike Judge (Office Space, Idiocracy), the movie is satisfied to revel in the idiocy of its characters far more than it dares to enter into the potential complexities of its plot. This is not a criticism, however, because the movie is as exceedingly funny as it is exceedingly stupid. Bateman does what he does best throughout"”look blankly at people saying stupid things and become frustrated by the idiocy that surrounds him (while becoming embroiled in it himself). Ben Affleck has a lot of fun with a role that's just that"”his Dean is as relaxed and flippantly funny as Joel is uptight and paranoid. J.K. Simmons is expectedly hilarious as Brian, the co-owner of the factory who refuses to learn anybody's name, and Dustin Milligan milks each of his exceedingly moronic lines for all its worth.

The movie does have flaws. It under uses Kristen Wiig's comedic chops, gets lost at times in its various threads, and sort of forgets that Mila Kunis exists about two thirds of the way through, but it makes up for any shortcomings with quick pacing and enough comedic power to get audiences through the more questionable parts of the plot (like when Joel pauses in his planning to hire a gigolo to seduce his wife for just long enough to point out that "This is crazy" before continuing right along). This movie doesn't have time to deal realistically with any ethical quandaries or character traits. There are too many jokes, and too little time to tell them, but if you're willing to suspend a little disbelief,Extract will take you to some very funny places. At the end of it all, it seems that Mike Judge would be happier just throwing together his views of the world for a few hours than telling an actual story. And, at least in this case, that's perfectly fine with me.

Grade: B
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