The problem with Extract is not its misanthropic outlook on life or its somewhat cliché storyline. It’s also not that it’s not funny but rather that it doesn’t seem to serve a purpose as a film. Why, exactly, was Extract made? And why did it feel like a waste of two hours?
Extract – the story of a nondescript factory owner in a nondescript Midwestern town – is served best by its lead actor. Jason Bateman, so very good in the dearly departed Arrested Development, is the best part of the movie. His Joel, an exasperated, sexually frustrated Everyman in the vein of Arrested’s Michael Bluth, watches as his world crumbles around him. His wife – portrayed by Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig – cheats on him with the world’s densest gigolo, while his employees (led by a hilarious Beth Grant) attempt to unionize without actually knowing why they’re unhappy.
Unfortunately, the film often seems contrived. That the audience members in the theater never stopped laughing is a testament to Mike Judge’s talent as a director, but this ensemble comedy, in the end, feels a little pointless.
Rating: 1.5/4 stars
Starring: Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Ben Affleck
Directed By: Mike Judge
MPAA Rating: R