Extract (2009)
★★ / ★★★★

Jason Bateman stars as the owner of a company who had to deal with an increasing number of personal and professional problems after one of his workers (Clifton Collins Jr. who continues his streak of being a chameleon in every role) had a gruesome accident. On one front, Bateman wanted to sleep with another woman (Mila Kunis) with criminal tendencies because his wife (Kristen Wiig) used every excuse on the book to not have sex with him, unknowing of the fact that Kunis seduced Collins so that she could get the settlement. On another angle, with the help of Ben Affleck, Bateman hired a pool boy (Dustin Milligan) to seduce his wife so that he would not feel as guilty when he finally did make a move on Kunis. But Milligan eventually fell in love with Bateman’s wife. Written and directed by Mike Judge, I found myself laughing out loud as I watched the film but when the credits started rolling, I felt like it could have been funnier. Although the situational comedies were so unbelievable because everything felt planned to a tee, I found myself going along with it because the characters were so vibrant. My main problem with the movie, however, was that it didn’t quite know whether it wanted to be a dark comedy, a spoof, or a safe mainstream comedy. It had elements of each of those and that was a problem because the tone did not feel right. I felt like it held back with the politically incorrect jokes instead of really embracing them and pointing the fingers on the audiences. There were some clever writing here and there (like the main character being so unhappy with his life even though a lot of people–people who he was surrounded by–would be more than happy to trade places with him) but sometimes the writing succumbed to typicality–something that we can see on television shows like “The Office” or “Better Off Ted.” There were also elements of “Office Space”-like jokes such as the very idiosyncratic workers (led by the always fantastic Beth Grant) and the very annoying neighbor (David Koechner) who can’t take a hint but such scenes felt like secondary appendages instead of being part of a whole and enhancing the thesis of the picture. Perhaps if “Extract” had not been afraid to be a bit darker and edgier with its material, I would have given this film a higher rating. The movie satisfied but didn’t impress me.

3 replies »

  1. Matt Judge will always be a comic legend, that makes hilarious stuff, even when he’s not trying to be that funny. I added you on my blog roll, share the love brotha?

  2. Apparently I am the only reviewer in the whole wide world who liked “Extract.” Does it compare to “Idiocracy” or “Office Space” in terms of savage humor? Absolutely not. This is a kinder, gentler movie and the first one Mike Judge has made from the boss’s perspective. In fact, the boss is the most human character here; he is the underdog.

    And who knew Ben Affleck was still funny?

    Also, I added you to my blogroll as well — great site. Feel free to “share the love,” as Dan The Man said above!

    • I really need to work on getting back on comments. I do read them but I usually check right before I have to head off to class. Hahaha.

      Anyhoo–I never thought I would ever read “Idiocracy” and “savage humor” in the same sentence. I hated everything about that movie. Main reason: it’s not funny. At all. I was bored to death. As for Ben Affleck, I knew he was still funny. ;) He does well in supporting roles. Maybe he should keep it that way.

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