Extract | Film Reviews | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Extract 

Rush to Judge: Extract is a possible (future) cult classic.

Pin It
Favorite
art8998widea.jpg

If I’ve learned anything about Mike Judge’s work over the years, it’s not to trust first impressions. Beavis and Butt-head seemed stupid until you latched onto its smarts about teen stupidity. Office Space seemed merely mildly amusing until it became the kind of movie you always stop on when channel-surfing. Even his ambitious, uneven Idiocracy includes its share of memorable moments. So, when I say that Extract just feels like a satisfyingly goofy entertainment, take it with a grain of salt.

Joel Reynolds (Jason Bateman) runs a food-flavoring business that could be ripe for a life-changing corporate buyout. But, life doesn’t feel as sweet as it should: Joel’s relationship with his wife Suzie (Kristen Wiig) has turned sexless, and an employee (Clifton Collins, Jr.) has just suffered a “mid-body” workplace injury. The arrival of hot new temp worker Cindy (Mila Kunis) could be just what Joel needs—if she weren’t actually a scheming, inveterate thief.

Part of what makes Judge such an acquired taste is that his sense of humor can swing from Sahara-dry to broadly crude. Bateman and Wiig are a perfect match for the former sensibility, providing the incredulous reaction takes to the morons around them. And Judge is always in top form when dealing with life’s idiots, as he is here both with Joel’s bartender buddy, Dean (a surprisingly sly Ben Affleck), and the gigolo Joel hires to test Suzie’s fidelity (Dustin Milligan). Even the throwaway gag of the misplaced apostrophe in “Reynold’s Extracts” feels like one of Judge’s droll commentaries on accepted dumbing-down.

It would be much easier to embrace Judge’s work if his sense of pacing weren’t always so suspect. His comedy seems mostly to be about odd little moments, not necessarily building towards anything. Whenever Extract veers away from Joel’s anxieties, it kinda grinds to a halt.

But, give it a year or two for the flavors to mix. A few viewings down the road, it might seem like a damned work of art.

EXTRACT

2_5_stars.gif

Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig
Rated R

Pin It
Favorite

Speaking of Sideshow

  • Letters to Juliet

    True Love: Letters to Juliet is more than a sunny, romantic travelogue.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Ajami

    Crash Course: Ajami creates a vivid, authentic world that’s bleak but not oppressive.
    • Apr 28, 2010
  • The Losers

    The Also-Team: Every other minute of The Losers is stuff you’ve seen before.
    • Apr 21, 2010
  • More »

More by Scott Renshaw

Latest in Film Reviews

  • The Terrible 10

    Horror, slasher and just plain creepy films: We tip our witch's hat to you.
    • Oct 16, 2019
  • Scandal in the Wind

    A film festival of stories about politicians under pressure.
    • Oct 9, 2019
  • Bored of the Flies

    Monos too rarely moves beyond a familiar story of violent youth.
    • Oct 2, 2019
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Old Friends

    Logan's Syndrome finds a filmmaker discovering a fascinating story in his own childhood neighborhood.
    • Mar 14, 2018
  • Look for the Helpers

    Won't You Be My Neighbor? and the simple heroism of Fred Rogers.
    • Jun 20, 2018

© 2019 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation