My Hubby & I had one of those wonderful movie nights where we just showed up at the theatre & picked whatever movie was most appealing at the time. There wasn’t a whole lot to choose from, so we finally settled (after a change of tickets) on Extract. My Hubby had heard it was funny, so that was good enough for me! I was out without the kids & my Hubby was actually with me, it could have been Elmo on the screen & I wouldn’t have cared.
Director Mike Judge (Office Space, Beavis & Butthead, King of the Hill) brings us the story of a small-business owner whose life is a little less exciting than he would like it to be. Through a series of bad choices, accidents & misunderstandings, his life certainly becomes more exciting, just not in the way he was thinking. Jason Bateman stars as Joel, the owner of Reynolds Extract, & he is having one heck of a bad week. Well, just check it out below….
With Mike Judge as writer/director the movie could have gone one of two ways. Office Space genius, or Beavis & Butthead stupidity. I absolutely loved Office Space, with all of its cubicle mundanity (I’m fairly certain I just made up that word) & “pieces of flair.” Mike Judge captured a teeming undercurrent amongst anyone who has ever occupied a cubicle. And then there’s Beavis & Butthead. Which I just don’t get. So, which way did the movie go for me?
Well, although Extract never quite acheived the hilarity of Office Space, it is still pretty darn funny. Start with Jason Bateman, whom I’m fairly certain I have had a crush on since he looked like this…
(I’m also fairly certain that I had the exact same haircut as him…but I digress.)
Bateman has pretty much perfected the art of the straight man to someone else’s crazy person (played here by Ben Affleck). Even when you are smacking yourself in the forehead because of some of the boneheaded things he is doing, Bateman has a way of making you still feel for him. Kristen Wiig plays Joel’s wife Susie & she is absolute genius. Every single line she delivers in Extract is hysterical, she can read a line like no one else. As usual J.K. Simmons is fabulous, as Joel’s business partner who really couldn’t give a hoot about the business. He walks around calling everyone who works for him “dinkus”, except for his favourite who he reserves the name “boy genius” for.
The characters can sometimes fall into the realm of being charicatures, as we don’t really get to “know” them well. But that is pretty much Mike Judge’s m.o. We jump into a story in what seems like the middle & the end is often another beginning. It’s not neat & tidy, but it sure is funny. My hubby & I laughed out loud at many scenes, partly from the insanity of it all & partly from relating to the main characters.
Pretty much what you will get from Extract is a fun movie with lots of laughs & a great cast. No big action sequences. No big tear-jerker moments. No neat & tidy bow at the end. But it is definitely worth catching the next time you’re at the theatre.