Extract (2010)

23 April 2010

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Joel, the owner of an extract manufacturing plant, constantly finds himself in precarious situations that steadily worsen by the minute. First, his soon-to-be floor manager acquires a serious injury in a machine malfunctioning accident that subsequently endangers the wellbeing of his company. Second, his personal life doesn't fair much better when he takes the advice of his bartending friend Dean during a drug-induced brainstorming session on how to test his wife's faithfulness. Finally, compounding these catastrophes is new employee Cindy, who happens to be a scam artist intent on milking the company for all its worth. Now, Joel must attempt to piece his company and his marriage back together all while trying to figure out what he's really after in life.

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"It's a mish mash of ideas that don't really take off"

Extract is a comedy that doesn't quite know what type of comedy it wants to be. The premise is good, the story follows Reynolds Extract, a factory of misfit workers, all with different personalities. From Mary (Beth Grant) who happily sits on the assembly line to Step (Clifton Collins Jr.) the fastest sorter in the factory with aspirations to become Floor Manager.

The main problem is that little to no development is taken with the characters other than the main character Joel (Jason Bateman), which is a shame since writer/director Mike Judge is renowned for Office Space, King Of The Hill and Beavis & Butt-Head, and Extract is clearly meant to be the next "Office Space" but it's unfocused and uneven. 

The story is centered around Step, who is injured in a freak accident at the factory and manipulated by Cindy (Mila Kunis) a beautiful con artist who persuades him to get a huge settlement which would ultimately jeopardise the negotiated buyout of Reynold Extract. While things at the factory go from bad to worse, Joel hatches a convoluted scheme with his best friend Dean (an unrecognisable Ben Affleck), to hire a gigolo Brad (Dustin Milligan) to tempt Joel's wife into having an affair. It does have a few redeeming qualities, Jason Bateman carries the film and Ben Affleck delivers a good performance as Dean, it's not his usual role which proves quite amusing.

It's a mish mash of ideas that don't really take off, it lacks relatability and character development. On paper, with a stellar cast like this it should have been a comedic gem but it's disappointing, mediocre at best and easily forgettable.

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