Joel Reynolds (Jason Bateman) is sitting pretty. With a beautiful wife, a comfortable home and the almost finalized acquisition by General Mills of the culinary extracts business he has built with his loyal lieutenant Brian (J.K. Simmons), Joel seems to have it all. Except his wife is about as interested in him as she is in her career (supermarket coupon design), his employees want a piece of the pie and the sweet young thing with designs on him (Mila Kunis) is really a wily con-artist. On the advice of a drug-addled confidante (Ben Affleck), Joel cooks up a scheme to cheat with impunity by hiring a gigolo to seduce his wife – only to discover the young object of his affection is behind a lawsuit by long-time employee Step (Clifton Collins, Jr.) that will scotch the General Mills deal and leave Joel penniless. The best-laid plans unravel with hilarious results in this off-the wall comedy about life in the not-so-fast lane.
You know what to expect with ‘Extract’ if you’ve seen any of Mike Judge’s previous films. ‘Office Space’ is a classic and one most of us quote on a regular basis, but is ‘Extract’ that legendary? Sadly, no – but that doesn’t mean it’s not an entertaining film. I actually really enjoyed it – though it was a bit darker than I anticipated.
On the verge of selling his successful extract company, Joel (Jason Bateman) is hopeful that things are taking a turn for the best. However, with some less than reliable employees working at the factory – things take a turn for the worst when one of the employees has a freak accident. If that wasn’t bad enough – add a questionable-yet-sexy new temp (Mila Kunis), a bored wife (Kristen Wig), a clueless pool boy gigolo, an annoying neighbor, an impending lawsuit, and a best friend who gives horrible advice (Ben Affleck) – and things start sucking for Joel pretty quicky. Focused, determined, yet laid back (much like the character we all loved from ‘Arrested Development’) Joel takes some pretty uncommon measures to resolve the various situations. While life may indeed be less than desireable for Joel, viewers will find their experienced quite different. ‘Office Space’ it isn’t – but it’s still a damn good time.
The best part of the film is definitely Ben Affleck which surprised me. I expected Bateman to have the best lines – but Affleck does a fabulous job as Dean – the delusional best friend who is the last person that Joel should trust. The whole cast does a really splendid job – however there is something missing. I just can’t put my finger on it.
Either way, it’s definitely worth checking out. It is pure comedy just as the front the DVD case informs you. There’s also some pretty nice (though limited) special features whcih include deleted/extended scenes and a special Mike Judge featurette.
Review by Emma Loggins