18 Days of Movie Reviews #4: Extract

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Mike Judge is probably best known as the creator of Beavis & Butthead and King of the Hill, but I tend to like his live action stuff. Office Space is a justifiable modern classic of the modern office drone. Idiocracy is an enjoyable exploration of the stupid we seem to be constantly surrounded by. And so I was interested in seeing Extract, his third live action feature film that he wrote and directed.

Extract stars Jason Bateman as Joel, the owner of a plant that makes bottles of extract. He’s financially successful but in a sexless marriage and bored out of his mind. He makes the mistake of asking for help from his bartender buddy, Dean who mostly just wants to get him high. Things go bad from there, especially when a criminal con artist in the shape of Mila Kunis shows up.

Unlike his previous films, Extract seems unclear what it wants to be. It’s not just that it’s not quite a comedy and not quite a drama. It’s that it’s not quite anything really. Most of Joel’s problems are self-created and so I had a hard time feeling for the guy. Extract has a couple of memorable performances but amazing character actors J.K. Simmons and Clifton Collins Jr., but unfortunately we never see enough of them to care.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call Extract a bad movie. There are really enjoyable scenes throughout and watching Ben Affleck as a dope fiend bartender with long hair is always fun, but I expected more.

Unfortunately, Extract misses the mark. Mike Judge is now running the HBO Comedy Silicon Valley and while I don’t want to get into a review of it here, I’ll say that it’s a return to form for the writer.

Extract is currently available on Netflix of you can purchase Extract at this link.

Tomorrow’s Review: Under The Skin

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