Sunday, June 13, 2010


Directed by Mike Judge.
2009. Rated R, 92 minutes.
Jason Bateman
Mila Kunis
Ben Affleck
Kristen Wiig
J.K. Simmons
David Koechner
Clifton Collins Jr.
Gene Simmons

Plot: Joel (Bateman), a successful extract manufacturer, has to deal with a lawsuit by an employee severely injured on the job, a thief loose in his plant and a sexless marriage.

The Good: Joel is the kind of guy we can identify with. He’s successful, but total happiness seems just out of his reach. He gets bad advice from friends that he follows anyway. This includes ideas about his marriage, which is in trouble. In all, he’s an everyman for us to cling to. Because of this, there are some very funny bits. However, the funniest moments belong to David Koechner as Joel’s annoying neighbor. It’s a wonderfully understated performance that feels more genuine than anything else going on.

The Bad: The movie pretends to resolve things but never does. What’s clearly supposed to be a happy ending feels more like coming back to square one. In movies where that’s the point, it can work. Here, we’re supposed to think everything is all better when it isn’t, mostly because he’s still the same. The other offense is it’s only funny in places. There are too many flat sections that’ll have you checking your watch.

The Ugly: What Dean (Affleck) accidentally gives Joel.

Recommendation: It’s touted as a return to corporate America for director Mike Judge, who also directed Office Space, one of my favorites. While Extract has its moments, it pales in comparison. Character development is nil and the story never goes anywhere. I desperately wanted to like this movie more than I did, but I just couldn’t.

The Opposite View: Brian Holcomb, CinemaBlend

What the Internet Says: 6.5/10 on (6/9/10), 63% on, 61/100 on

MY SCORE: 5.5/10

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