Plot summary (from the studio): Mike Judge’s comedy focuses on a flower-extract plant owner contending with an ever-growing avalanche of personal and professional disasters. An employee at the factory has just suffered an unfortunate accident on the assembly line, but little does the put-upon owner realize that things are about to get much worse. As the injured employee threatens to sue and it begins to look like his company will be bought out, the frazzled owner attempts to catch the culprit responsible for stealing wallets from the coat room and begins to suspect that his wife is sleeping with the gigolo he hired to seduce her.
Warning: Spoilers below!
- There were some funny moments here. I thought the thing about Joel’s wife tying her sweatpants at 8pm on the dot was pretty good, and I enjoyed some of the stuff with the Ben Affleck character. I definitely laughed or at least smiled several times throughout this film.
- Speaking of the gigolo, he was dumb enough and earnest enough to be likable. His scenes were mostly enjoyable.
- Jason Bateman turns in a typically solid Jason Bateman performance. He plays the same “everyman” that he generally plays in these kinds of films: the average Joe who is smarter and more level-headed than those around him and reacts to others’ stupidity with predictable “WTF” expressions and comments.
- I hated that Joel and Suzie got back together in the end. How could they both have treated cheating on each other so casually??? I know this was a comedy and all (and that Joel even paid for the gigolo to tempt his wife) but that just didn’t ring true for me.
- I also had a hard time believing that the Mila Kunis character would want anything to do with Joel. He wasn’t going to turn her in as long as she returned the stolen goods, so why did she have to sleep with him? That’s taking pity sex to an extreme.
- The lawsuit angle was unfunny and pointless.
- The plot didn’t feel like a typical movie plot with ever-escalating stakes for the main character. This whole thing basically consisted of Joel going through the day-to-day motions of his ordinary life, which made it hard to become invested in the outcome.
Given the fairly recognizable cast, I was expecting a whole lot more from Extract. It did have several funny moments and was certainly watchable, but in the end it didn’t feel much like a Mike Judge project. I give it 3 stars out of 5.