STARRING: Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck, Kristen Wiig, J.K. Simmons, Clifton Collins Jr., David Koechner, Dustin Milligan, Beth Grant and Gene Simmons
WRITTEN BY: Mike Judge
DIRECTED BY: Mike Judge
Release Date: 04 September 2009
Extract may not be the best comedy to a lot of people, but I don't think it could have been any better for me. I loved everything about it. The fact that someone has finally given Jason Bateman a leading role, was more than reason enough to see it.
Bateman plays a less than happy guy named Joel. Joel doesn't live the worst life, especially considering the fact that he owns his own business. But his life is still far from exceptional; especially to him.
For starters, his wife Suzie (Kristen Wig) wants nothing to do with him sexually. This is shown repeated times by instances where he has failed to walk in the door by the deadline; the deadline being the exact same time, every day, that Suzie puts on her sweat pants. Once the pants are on, they aren't coming off! Director Mike Judge adds a humorous close-up or two of her sealing Joel off from her sacred temple, by tying the loops of her sweats tightly.
Other than his long and dreadful days at his Extract Syrup factory that he runs, the main reason he can never seem to walk in the door in time is due to his insanely obnoxious neighbor. God, this guy drove me nuts and reminded me of so many irritating people, as will it no doubt do for you. The always funny David Koechner plays him perfectly and you want to strangle him within 30 seconds of meeting him. He's the guy that cannot take even the boldest hints that scream `I am not interested in what he has to say', and `you need to leave!' Met one or two of him before? I think we all have.
These are just the daily setbacks that Joel faces week in and week out. Things get even worse for him when there is a freak accident at work. One of his employees, Step (Clifton Collins Jr.), was severely injured and now has a potential lawsuit. I won't spoil the mishap with details, but I will tell you it develops from very humorous characters performing their job functions at a less than stellar performance level. Again, I'm sure we can all relate to this as well.
While all of this is going on, we have also met a beautiful woman who knows she's beautiful and uses it to con unsuspecting men. Mila Kunis plays the part of Cindy, very well. When she hears of Step's lawsuit, she comes a-running.
Cindy applies for a job at the plant and is hired. Before we know it, she has set plans in motion to seduce Joel and Step simultaneously. Desperate for the attention his wife fails to show him, he talks to his best friend for support in what he should do.
That best friend just so happens to be played by the legendary Ben Affleck. He had me in stitches in every scene. Affleck plays Dean, a bartender at a sports bar in the side of a hotel. He's kind of a hippie and he's kind of a player and he's totally believable. He has a shaggy beard and long wavy hair, in need of constant brushing from his eyes. Affleck added some really nice qualities to this character and should do more comedy. Upon meeting Cindy while visiting Joel at work, he delivers my favorite line in the film. While staring at her from Joel's office window, Joel tells him she's a temp and Dean turns suddenly with a look of genuine excitement and says, "She's a tramp?" It kills, trust me!
Joel confides in his pal Dean in hopes of gaining some helpful relationship advice. The advice that Dean offers him is less than canny and from there the movie spirals out of control and is effortlessly hysterical.
Mike Judge has a true gift for comedy. From his Beavis and Butt-head characters, to his instant classic Office Space, the guy brings us people we can relate to, laugh with and more fun importantly, laugh at. Extract has several of each.