Wednesday, 23 September 2020
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   

extractposterThe funny thing about Extract is that it has all of the ingredients to yield great results, but ends up being kind of bland despite the flavorful title. Writer/director Mike Judge is the guy who created such off-the-wall hilarity as Office Space, King of the Hill and of course Beavis and Butthead, so the bar is set pretty high.  The fact that his cast of cohorts includes Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig and Ben Affleck just puts expectations even higher.

Jason Bateman stars as a very successful business owner named Joel Reynolds, who built his flavor extract manufacturing plant from the ground up. His success doesn’t go much further than his pocket book though, since he seems to be stuck in a rut. He’s got no personal life, incompetent employees and a wife (Kristen Wiig) who won’t let him into her draw-stringed jogging pants.

extractpic1Joel goes into overload when his best employee loses a testicle in a freak accident at the plant. Between a potential law suit threatening to bankrupt the company, his overwhelming sexual frustration and the temptations of a hot female con artist (Mila Kunis), Joel’s life is pretty much in a shambles and he’s got to sort things out before he loses everything.

I don’t know what it is about Extract that just didn’t do it for me. The quirky story and cast of characters make it an attractive package, but somehow it just doesn’t work together. Jason Bateman is really the glue that binds though, and his performance is the biggest success of the film.

extractpic2Most of the characters in the film just kind of irritated me and I didn’t really identify with any of them. Even Joel, who was the most sympathetic character in the film, is sort of just a passenger in his own life. He makes odd choices that seem out of character for such an average, likeable guy. I suppose it’s justifiable in the context of the film. Those around him, heavily influence Joel in particular a fair-weather friend played by a very slimy looking Ben Affleck, who doles out the worst advice ever!

Overall, Extract just kind of falls flat as an unmemorable movie that had the potential to be great. There are some laughs and lots of smiles but the end result is a whole lot of unrealized potential.