Review: Extract
Mike Judge seems to always get a raw deal. He manages to lose himself amongst the more popular creators of animated series. Matt Groening, Seth McFarlane, Matt Stone, and Trey Parker have all gained oodles more success than Judge, but he seems to have made that role his own. Judge's criminally underrated "˜King of The Hill' and his opus, "˜Office Space' are what he's most famous for. With "˜Extract' he has another work place comedy that isn't really about the workplace at all.

In the film, Jason Bateman plays Joel the owner of an Extract company. Not particularly an exciting occupation but he seems to make more than a good living. Unfortunately Joel is having marital troubles with his wife (Kristen Wiig) so he looks to his best friend Dean (Ben Affleck), a druggie bartender, to provide some help. That help may come in the form of con artist Cindy (Mila Kunis), who Joel (and frankly anyone in their right mind) would like to bang. Of course, Cindy is only at the plant in an effort to get close to a worker who had a nut ripped off in an accident and is looking for a big pay day.

Dean sets up a scheme that would allow Joel to bang Cindy without feeling guilty about cheating on his wife"”make her cheat on him. The set-up to the story is pretty typical Mike Judge, a main character looking for a way out of his boring (or in Joel's case sexless) life and plenty of opportunities for shit to hit the fan really easily. Like both Office Space and King of the Hill, our every-man hero is surrounded by pretty ridiculous characters. Besides Affleck's Dean, Joel has his right-hand man Brian who is played by the always excellent J.k. Simmons. Also the factory workers are those who are often found in Judge's world, gabby old ladies, hardworking but slightly stupid hicks, and a metal head.

Bateman was a perfect casting choice since he is able to bring that quite exasperation to a world that just seems to be shitting all over him. Mila Kunis is excellent at looking like Mila Kunis. Affleck and Simmons uphold their ends of the bill to provide foils for Bateman's anxiety. The comedy in the film can range from subtle to borderline cartoonish, but when used Judge is mostly successful. David Koechner plays Joel's neighbor is perfectly annoying and a little bit sad, another common character found in Judge In a bit of stunt casting gone awry, Gene Simmons plays a lawyer looking to take Bateman for all he's worth. At the time it may have been a cool idea but it felt flat and his non-acting skills came through. Luckily he's only the movie for about five minutes.

Those looking for Office Space II are in for a disappointment. Even though the film has been billed as "The creator of Office Space heads back to work" it is not as good of a film then again its tough to beat a film that has left so many people quoting it 10 years later. "˜Extract' makes for a great time at the movies, and that's enough to ask for from someone who has given so much and received so little credit.

comments powered by Disqus