Extract: only a little more fun than pulling teeth


Joel (Jason Bateman) is overworked, facing a lawsuit, and being shut down by his wife in the physical intimacy department. Cindy (Mila Kunis) is a pretty face who starts working at his factory (producing food extract) and flirts with Joel. Joel’s best friend, Dean (Ben Affleck), is a bartender/stoner who proposes an idea to allow Joel to hook up with Cindy, guilt-free.


Oh, is it over already? I was waiting for it to get started, or at least start getting funny, but I was sadly disappointed. Hijinks did not ensue. Bateman is mostly believable as Joel and he plays the character earnestly, but that’s about all I can say. I know he can be funny, but this role seemed to have all humor extracted from it. Affleck had the most laughs of any of the main characters, and that’s not saying much. His stoner character grew tiresome quickly.

Extract elicited a few chuckles from me, primarily from some very deft handling of secondary characters. Nathan, the over-sincere, annoying neighbor and Brad, the utterly moronic pool boy (among other things) steal their scenes. Scratch that – they do well in their scenes. To imply they steal scenes suggests that the scenes belonged to someone else. Bateman, Affleck, and Kunis recite their lines adequately enough, but their characters just were not that interesting.

I didn’t really care how things turned out for anybody. I considered walking out of the theater out of boredom, but refrained from doing so; it would have been unfair to the rest of the group that accompanied me to the theater.

I am disappointed even more so because I know Mike Judge is capable of genius. Office Space still stands as one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Idiocracy, while failing in execution, was built on a solid, funny premise, and incited enough laughs to keep me entertained. Judge’s long-running animated series King of the Hill has never failed to put a smile on my face. I was a teenager with access to MTV when Beavis and Butthead were on the air, and yes, I loved those little fartknockers.

I look forward to Mr. Judge’s next endeavor, but this movie extracted from me only one and half babbles.



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