I went to see Extract last weekend knowing absolutely nothing about it. Extract, written and directed by Mike Judge, stars Jason Bateman as Joel Reynolds, the owner of a factory which makes extracts used in cooking, hence the title. Joel is dissatisfied with his marriage and his best friend, Dean, played by Ben Affleck (sporting some very Russell Brand hair extensions), tries to help Joel with the aid of bad advice and drugs. Joel wants to have an affair with Cindy, a sexy young woman who works at his factory, but would feel guilty about cheating on his wife, so Joel and Dean come up with a plan to have a gigolo seduce Joel’s wife so he can then have an affair with Cindy with a clear conscience.
Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Well it is, and not in a good way. The plot of this film seems random and hardly compelling enough to base a feature length film on. The viewer never gets on board with the characters enough to overlook this huge flaw and in particular the character of Joel seems shallow and unsympathetic. The best things about the movie are the performances of the minor characters, Cindy played by Mila Kunis and Brad played by Dustin Milligan. The opening scene showing Cindy’s grifting skills in a guitar shop is great and Mila Kunis really shines.
Extract isn’t a film I would recommend, being slight and not very funny. Perhaps it would have been better as a short film, forcing the writer and director to strengthen his ideas and characters, but at 92 minutes it’s a waste of film.