Starring Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, and Ben Affleck
Directed by Mike Judge (Office Space)
Rated R for language, sexual references, and some drug use
Appropriate for ages 17+
Extract plant owner Joel (Bateman) has a severe crush on his new con-artist employee Cindy (Kunis), but won’t act on it because he is married. After his best friend (Affleck) gives him Special K instead of Valium, he makes the decision to hire a gigolo to seduce his wife (Wiig) so that he won’t feel guilty when he cheats on her. As you can imagine, things go downhill from there.
One talent writer/director Mike Judge has is inventing original characters, environments, and situations and making you feel like they are the mundane. This film has a lot going for it in regards to bored people doing irrational and despicable things and making the audience feel very judgmental. I don’t think you can help but cast judgment on every little action and misstep, just because that’s how it’s laid out. Even with this though, the laughs are really big throughout and while dark at every turn, the comedy makes the dark seem not so bad.
As far as performances go, Bateman makes for a great leading man, although I’m not sure if he’ll ever open a film with big numbers. Kunis plays the criminal cutie well, although I have a feeling that many of her scenes were cut to keep the film down to a short running time. Conversely, some of the factory workers are annoyingly bad actors here, such as Beth Grant, who I just wanted to choke, but maybe that was the point.
What I am really surprised about is how amateurish some of the directing is here. I would have thought with all of the experience Judge has had over the years, that the film would have a more polished feel to it, but some of it, such as the lawyer scene with Gene Simmons, looks like a college film. Maybe Simmons is just that bad of an actor, but if that were the case, I think he could have found a different iconic figures to play an attorney.
Overall, Extract is a very funny, but inconsistent film that will leave you kind of hollow inside. It is also not nearly as memorable or as important as his previous two films: Office Space and Idiocracy. C+