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Movie Review: Extract

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Written by Evan Ford

Posted on 02 December 2012

"Extract," a relatively unknown movie, casts many well-known stars including Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Ben Affleck, and Kristen Wiig. Despite its lesser-known reputation, the 2009 comedy offers many laughs.

The film's director, Mike Judge, creator of "King of the Hill" and director of the films "Office Space" and "Idiocracy," delivers a unique sense of humor and undeniably rich comedy.

"Extract" follows the life of Joel (Jason Bateman), the successful founder of a flavor extract factory. As his personal and professional life begin to take turns for the worse, he seeks help from his long time friend and bartender Dean (Ben Affleck). Joel takes advice from Dean, but this foolish mistake makes the situation even worse. Mixed into this scenario, a slanderous con artist named Cindy (Mila Kunis) develops a mix of misdeeds to threaten Joel's well being. Because of this, everything he has ever worked for is at risk of being lost. On top of this, a highly unusual work related injury and potential lawsuit makes his life even more complicated.

The plot may seem a bit grim, but the entire movie develops a good amount of humor, creating a laughable rather than unfortunate situation. Interestingly, Ben Affleck as a supporting character rather than the main character in a film creates an interesting turn from his usual roles in movies. With this role, he expresses his sense of humor rather than his current stint as a more serious director and actor. Jason Bateman is natural in his usual role as a funny man, and fans of his other movies like "Horrible Bosses," or television shows like "Arrested Development" will feel right at home.

The major issue with this film is its slow paced story progression. This makes the movie unappealing to some, but the wait for plot lines to intertwine creates a good satisfaction at its conclusion. Character development really brings out the zany circumstances that are outrageous to everyday life. Despite the negative events that occur throughout the movie, it ends on a very uplifting note. For those looking for a smart comedy with an all-star cast, "Extract" is an underrated must see.
Colorado School of Mines

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