"Extract" is simply funny, but still simple

Sept. 6, 2009, midnight | By Amir Gorjifard | 10 years, 11 months ago

Creator of the cult classics reprises his old comedy antics

Boredom is a curse that is disconcerting and affects high percentages of Americans everyday day. "Extract” shows a man's struggle to eliminate as much dullness from his life as much as possible, no matter how negatively it affects him. Director Michael Judge and man behind the "Office Space" and "Beavis and Butt-Head" is able to manage this scenario with a fairly executed comedic twist.

Joel Reynold is owner of a food extract factory leading a life that can be characterized as dull and lackluster at best.This problem has not been a huge concern for him until his life begins to fall apart, starting with his disgruntled employees creating a domino effect of accidents that lead to a male-injury lawsuit that destroys any hopes he has of selling the company. His marriage is falling apart due to his wife's television addiction and intensely cruel and unachievable 8 pm curfew that completely destroys the romance in the relationship. Soon Joel becomes infatuated by a new and gorgeous factory temp, Cindy (Mila Kunis), and soon attempts to begin an affair with her. However, he's unaware that Cindy is an ex-convict who has the capability of bringing down his entire company. These problems cause Joel's slacker and Jesus look-alike friend Dean (Ben Affleck) to concoct a plan that will theoretically expunge the boredom out of Joel's life and allow him to pursue a guilt-free physical relationship with Cindy. Joel, while intoxicated, agrees to the ridiculous plan and is soon on an extreme ride of experiences that he will never forget.

Though the films idea is fairly simplistic, Judge creates such a comedic depth to each actor that forces the audience to completely ignore the movies lack of a stunning plot. Judge also proves that he still has the capability of making quotable dialogue that will remain in the viewer's head way after the credits have finished.

The cast is also what keeps Extract so comically strong. Jason Bateman shows that he has had a lot of practice from previous movies playing the straight-laced average-Joe. Ben Affleck's portrayal of a dazed and confused slacker was executed with some of the best comedic timing seen in summer cinema since that of Zack Galifinakis in "Hangover." Kirsten Wiig's performance of an unsatisfying wife is hilariously real and relentlessly annoying all at the same time.

The movie, though brilliant, is left with faults that prevent it from being put in the hall of fame of comedy classics. The movie feels very brisk, partly due to its runtime of 93 minutes, and has an uneven plot. The success behind Judge's hits TV creations of "Beavis and Butthead” and "King of the Hill” is that his story writing technique is designed for short half hour episodes not feature length films. A common characteristic of all his movies is that they have a strong start, but whither down at the end. "Extract” does not deviate from this trend. Judge;s other downfall comes in his concoction of Joel's neighbor Nathan (David Koechner) who is overplayed but hilariously annoying. Nathan is merely a running gag and has no significance in the plot. Nathan's trivial antics are illustrated in the movie so many times that the viewer is left disappointed when he is left undeveloped.

Still, "Extract" is a comedic experience that reels in anyone who has suffered from boredom and unhappiness.

"Extract" (93 minutes) is rated R for language, sexual references and some drug use. Now playing in theaters everywhere.

Amir Gorjifard. Son of Mahmoud Gorjifard and Nahid Gorjifard, Amir can be best described by two words: gorgeous and modest. His two loves in this world are his two guitars - his acoustic guitar, E. Roosevelt (he was forced to add the E. due to an overrated … More »

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