Extract is the fourth film from writer and director Mike Judge. After one hit, 1996’s Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, a cult classic 1999’s Office Space and the buried, basically direct to DVD 2006 miss fire and studio meddled, Idiocracy does Extract put him back on track?
Joel(Jason Bateman) is owner and operator of Reynolds Extract. He cares about his company and the people that work for him, but is looking for a way out. With a failing home life, an annoying and nosey neighbor Nathan (David Koechner) who doesn’t quite understand subtle hints, a loveless and sexless marriage with his wife Suzie (Kristen Wiig), Joel sees selling his company as a chance to shake things up.
Spending most evenings in a bar owned by his best friend, Dean (Ben Affleck), who consistently offers various drugs and other wacky ways to address Joel’s woes in an attempt to make things better for him. After a large company offers to buy the factory the unthinkable happens. A freak accident occurs at the plant impairing long time and loyal employee Step (Clifton Collins, Jr). This leaves the door open for a lawsuit which puts the company purchase on hold.
Enter the scheming young and attractive Cindy (Mila Kunis) looking for a pay day to capitalize on Step’s simpleton nature and the incident with the aid of local ambulance chasing attorney Joe Adler played masterfully by Gene Simmons and you have a basic Extract of the film, lame joke I know.
Extract is further proof that Mike Judge has his finger on the pulse of modern day middle class life like few others do. From his television work (Beavis and Butt-Head, King of The Hill) to his feature film work Office Space and now Extract, Judge consistently does a good job of creating believable every day settings and inhabiting them with characters that fit.
Extract is filled with plenty of laughs and at times felt like a blue collar version of Office Space. Sure there are some circumstances in the film that seem out there but every one has moments in their life where they stop and ask how did I get here, when did things get so out of control? The film covers such situations showing Joel’s life as he attempts to change things from the norm and how out of control they can quickly get.
Is it high art? no, it also isn’t a laugh a minute, but is still plenty enjoyable.
I give Extract 3 nut extract bottles out of 5
By John Coovert