Saturday, September 12, 2009

Extract - Movie Review

Extract (R) 91 minutes B-
Office life forget your wife

Starring Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Ben Affleck, Mila Kunis, J.K. Simmons, David Koechner, Clifton Collins Jr., and T.J. Miller

Extract is the latest offering from Mike Judge, creator of Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill and writer/director of the 1999 cult classic, Office Space. Extract has been advertised as better and/or funnier than Office Space... it's not. But it does possess a certain charm and definitely stands out on its own; the two films work better as companion pieces than compared.

Extract centers around Joel (Jason Bateman), owner of Reynolds Extract. He lives a comfortable life and seems fairly content despite the normal ups and downs of running a business. But when his sexual frustration and home life goes from bad to worse, Joel makes a series of bad choices before seeing the light.

Bateman is excellent and has become an actor that's always worth your time regardless of the film (State of Play, Juno, The Promotion, Hancock, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, etc...). Ben Affleck continues his string of respectable movie roles as the know-it-all, free thinking stoner friend- a character that's been done many times before, yet works as a nice segway to various predicaments.

Mila Kunis serves one purpose- eye candy, while the always underrated J.K. Simmons and David Koechner turn in small but mighty performances. Kristen Wiig of SNL plays Suzie, Joel's bored yet insatiable wife, a role that's purposely understated and brilliant.

For the most part this is a light-hearted and funny romp. But film critic Stepanie Zacharek of said it best when she wrote Extract is about "drawing out the poison that can build inside us when we're not paying attention." That's perhaps viewing the film from a deeper/darker perspective but nevertheless she is 100% correct.

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