I was all prepared to say that Extract will be the next huge hit from Mike Judge. The one that will be as big of a cult hit as Office Space was.
Now, let me remind everyone about how bizarre the Office Space thing was.
The movie made something like $25 million at the box office, and was considered a flop.
The guy that was so successful with Beavis & Butthead and King of the Hill, had a movie that was hysterical, but nobody went to see.
And a funny thing happened on the way to Blockbuster. Everyone started quoting it in their cubicles and at the water cooler. They might say “Looks like another case of the Mondays.” Or they’d talk about what they were going to do to the copier. Oh, the quotes are endless (and so are the “oh” faces).
I’ve been disappointed with Judges other films, especially Idiocracy, which many of my friends raved about (a great concept, a horrible film).
Extract is the story of a guy who owns a flavor extract business (played by Jason Bateman). He has a wife that may be cheating (SNL’s Kristen Wiig), a stoner friend that offers goofy advice (Ben Affleck), and a right-hand man who steals every scene he’s in (the always reliable character actor, J.K. Simmons). Another great character actor – David Koechner – has a great role, as does Clifton Collins, Jr., as the plant employee that loses a testicle in a freak accident, and is being persuaded to sue for big bucks.
The cast is rounded out nicely by Mila Kunis (That 70s Show), and a small role for Gene Simmons, who is interested in buying the extract business.
This is a comedy that’s hard to recommend by saying how funny it is. A lot of the humor is real subtle.
Sure, there are some laugh out loud moments, like when Koechner, as the annoying neighbor always trying to bug Bateman into various pyramid schemes and things he’d rather not hear the second he pulls into the driveway.
Another hysterical scene involves an older woman working on the plant floor, who gets mad at everything, and she never seems to even understand the facts behind what she’s getting riled up about.
But there were so many scenes that I was laughing at, as the rest of the theatre sat quietly; facial expressions Collins had, or Simmons, after listening to an idiotic employee complain about something.
Anyway, I thought Funny People was going to be this huge comedy hit, and it wasn’t. This leaves me little hope for thinking Extract is going to be as big as it should be.
Don’t let this little gem slip by under the radar. Check it out. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
I’m giving it a B+.