Extract – Film Review

Now that King Of The Hill has come to an end
after a successful 12-year run, many people
will be watching with interest to see what that
show’s creator, Mike Judge, will come up with
next. Having also been the brains behind Beavis
And Butt-head, Judge is perhaps best known
among the animated community, but Extract is in
fact his third live-action feature as a director.
Having made waves with the Jennifer Anistonstarring
Office Space back in 1999, Judge
followed up with 2006’s Idiocracy, which was an
excellent idea on paper, but didn’t quite translate
to the big screen. This film, based around an
extract plant owner named Joel Reynolds
(Jason Bateman), falls somewhere in between
his previous two films, as it isn’t quite as funny
or as clever as Office Space, but certainly brings
more to the table than Idiocracy did.
Though only 92 minutes in length, there is quite
a bit going on in this film, as we get an inside
view of Joel’s relationship with his wife (Kristen
Wiig), his moments of solace with his best friend
Dean (Ben Affleck), and also sub-plots involving
an unfortunate employee and a con artist
named Cindy (Mila Kunis), who spots a great
opportunity to make millions of dollars by posing
as a temp worker at Joel’s plant.
Arrested Development’s Jason Bateman is
by now a veteran of this genre of films, and
he fills this role perfectly, displaying all the
characteristics of a man who can’t seem to
strike a balance between his professional and
domestic environments.
There is fine support as well, with the everdependable
JK Simmons appearing as a
company supervisor, while Kunis continues to
break away from her ‘That 70s Show’ persona
as the woman that catches the eye of Joel.
Saturday Night Live stars of past and present,
Wiig and David Koechner, are also good value,
while there is an interesting cameo appearance
by KISS frontman Gene Simmons as a celebrity
lawyer. Probably the most eye-catching
performance comes from Affleck, who is almost
unrecognisable (aside from his distinguished
voice) with long hair and a beard, and he is
clearly having a ball playing a bong-loving bartender. Some of the jokes can be hit and miss at times,
but when they do hit, they can be very funny.
While Judge doesn’t quite rediscover the fire
that made Office Space so memorable, he does
admirably stop the film from becoming formulaic,
and it is clear from very early that he cares
about the characters that are portrayed in this film.

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