Saturday, September 11, 2010
Jason Bateman has enjoyed a bundle of success in the last few years, mainly in memorable supporting roles like in popular movies The Kingdom, Juno, and Hancock. In Extract he takes the lead and naturally fits in as the manager of a flavor-extract company. He's directed by Mike Judge, who ten year prior to this released the now cult classic Office Space (which I only just found out was filmed in my home town, the fancy side of Irving, Las Colinas). Extract will surely not become as beloved as Judge's previous hit, partly because it's missing a tool for biting satire (office jobs are so easy to make fun of that doing so has almost become a cliché), and because its comedy divides people to the point where many won't find it funny. I'm sort of in the middle. There were parts that made me laugh, but other parts that I knew were supposed to be humorous, but weren't for me. I liked the movie most for the characters, all of whom were either funny, enjoyable, or both. Besides Bateman, there's Ben Affleck as an amiable, drugged out friend, J.K. Simmons as a worker in the company, and the great looking Milla Kunis as a crafty con-artist. But with all this talent at hand, Extract should have been better than this. I think there are several wasted opportunities for comedy, especially with the scenes inside the company. And as a side note, I found the ending to be offensive when it was obviously supposed to be, like the rest of the movie, a good laugh. It involves a neighbor, who is admittedly annoying, but undeserving of his terrible fate. It does offer a neat and tidy conclusion to the story, but I found it to be unfortunate and tasteless. Better luck next time for Judge, who knows the funny side of working class America, and now just needs to find out how to execute to the fullest potential.