Review by Jack Foley
MIKE Judge will forever possess cult appeal for his hip movie Office Space… and it’s destined to remain the film all others from him are judged by.
Extract, the latest from the creative mind behind TV hits King Of The Hill and Beavis & Butt-Head, is another comedic slice of American life that focuses on a blue collar hero trying to cope with all that life can throw at him.
Jason Bateman stars as amiable factory owner Joel whose plans to sell off his company and live off the profits are threatened by a lawsuit stemming from a freak testicle accident, the arrival of a provocative new employee (Mila Kunis’ ravishing con-woman) and an impending personal crisis stemming from a lack of sex at home (from wife Kristen Wiig).
To compound matters, he foolishly takes the advice of his best friend (Ben Affleck) to test his wife’s fidelty, and must constantly try and avoid the attentions of a dull neighbour (David Koechner) who accosts him at every opportunity.
Judge’s screenplay is full of smart one-liners, stoner tomfoolery and comically OTT scenarios that only serve to compound the misery surrounding the put-upon Joel.
But thanks to Bateman’s easygoing, everyman charisma, Joel is someone worth hanging out with and even rooting for, even when his decision making lets him down.
There’s strong ensemble support, too, from the likes of Kunis (ever lovely, but dangerous), Koechner (fantastically annoying), Affleck (playing dumb well) and JJ Simmons (as Joel’s right-hand man), making this a consistently entertaining and frequently astute observation of US working life and all the tiresome tribulations that come with it.
Extract therefore works as a smart comedy about dumb people that serves as a great little companion piece to Office Space. It even looks destined for the same cult appeal.
Running time: 92mins
UK DVD Release: August 16, 2010