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Movie Review: Extract

 
Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years and 2 months ago

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Written Sept. 4, 09

I’m really sorry Mr. Judge, but even though I was able to crack a few laughs here and there, I must say this wasn’t your best work. It’s been a while since the days of “Beavis and Butthead” or “King of the hill” or even “Office Space” which I believe is what pretty much kept him on sight, but with “Extract” I think there’s going to be a bit of an issue. As a fan of Mike Judge, I literally paid my respect and thought that with a summer that’s delivered a couple of comedy hits this one would also stand strong and perhaps make this the best summer ever for funnies which were missing but slowly making a comeback. I think my approach on pursuing something or someone without any expectations is the best thing to do because Mike’s latest piece was nothing more than a so – so attempt at what could have played out well considering the edginess between a man’s life that spirals down a slippery slope once a freak accident happens and sets off a domino effect of issues.

Joel (Jason Bateman), the owner of an extract manufacturing plant, constantly finds himself in precarious situations that steadily worsen by the minute. First, his soon-to-be floor manager (Clifton Collins, Jr.) acquires a serious injury in a machine malfunctioning accident. This subsequently endangers the well being of his company. Second, his personal life doesn't fair much better when he takes the advice of his bartending friend, Dean (Ben Affleck). Dean during a drug-induced brainstorming session suggests how to test his wife's (Kristin Wiiq) faithfulness Finally, compounding these catastrophes is new employee Cindy (Mila Kunis) who also happens to be a scam artist intent on milking the company for all its worth. Now, Joel must attempt to piece his company and his marriage back together, all while trying to figure out what he's really after in life.

Bateman who was (and is) pretty funny suffered at times due to writing. Character-wise all what was given to “Joel” had lots of ups and downs that could have played off well while bouncing off others, but lacked something. I guess it didn’t really feel as believable to me what he’d be experiencing at times and his reaction towards it.A few funny lines and moments here and there, but really not a knock-out in the sense of how “Extract” tried portraying it… The same goes for Affleck. The Jesus/Hippie look really isn’t him and also during a scene where some severe weed smoking was going on, it (or he) suffered a lot. He’s always been one of those ‘it either works for him, or not’ type of actors anyway, so I guess from him not much could have been expected. I will give him credit during a line delivery while having a conversation with “Joel” during a regretful moment on “Joel’s” part. It was something that just unleashed and the way it was said, was pretty funny. And maybe had that same kind of energy and level of comedy tone been kept, “Extract” would have been a much better comedy and stood side by side with others. As for Kunis… well, hot and never fails to deliver when it comes to sex-appeal, but I’m still trying to think what purpose did she serve in this film. I think minus her, there really wouldn’t have been much to be missed other than eye-candy and the only Eve-like character to be able to influence a lot of naughty actions. The feeling moves on to other actors as well as how the way the story was projected.

If it were up to me, I would have enjoyed this a lot better as a straight to DVD release rather than something to be thrown up on the sliver screen. Tax write-off if you ask me. Mike Judge still has my respect and admiration, but he needs to get back to the drawing board. It seems as if the only funny pieces of the film were plastered into the trailer just to sucker everyone in. I guess P.T. Barum was right… “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

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