Sunday, September 06, 2009

Extract (***)

Extract. 89 mins. R. Written and Directed by Mike Judge. Starring Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, J.K. Simmons, and Ben Affleck.

Even if you went into Extract not knowing anything about it, you'd be able to tell pretty much right away that it's a Mike Judge film. The writer-director of box office bombs/cult hits Office Space and Idiocracy is back with another comedy set in the workplace, and he has such a distinct, refreshing style of comedy that his personal touch is instantly recognizable. Extract is by no means a classic; it's a minor movie - aims low and generally succeeds. In baseball terms, it'd be a single. There are a handful of truly laugh-out-loud moments (I counted five), but those moments are worth it. The plot is almost like something out of a Coen Brothers movie - a freak accident at the extract factory run by Jason Bateman's character, Joel, sets off a chain of events, most of which involve Bateman's attempt to have a young gigolo seduce his wife (Kristen Wiig) so he won't feel guilty about trying to sleep with the new employee at the factory (Mila Kunis). 90210's Dustin Milligan is a hoot as the gigolo, as is Ben Affleck as Joel's dazed and confused friend. Bateman is the perfect straight man for this kind of movie, and anchors it nicely with his second-to-none deadpan delivery. Seriously, can he just be in every movie? I just saw Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, and he even makes that turd watchable. But, make no mistake, this is Mike Judge's movie all the way, and that's a good thing. Extract is not as good as Office Space, and I'm not sure I liked it as much as Idiocracy, but it's a solid, low-key comedy that deserves a wide audience - if only so that Judge can continue making movies. The comedy world needs him.

- John


Post a Comment

<< Home