in Review

Taking Care of Business


Years ago Mike Judge wrote and directed the cult classic that is Office Space and now almost 10 years later he’s back to the workplace with his latest dark comedy Extract starring; Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis and Ben Affleck to name a few. I’d pondered if Judge could repeat the subtle genius of Office Space and hoped for the best but with Extract, the laughs didn’t quite flow as freely and there was just something missing.

Jason Bateman stars as Joel, the owner of an Extract plant plagued by incompetent employees with a home life that isn’t much to speak of either. Surrounded by a plethora of wacky characters including; a redneck employee threatening the plant with a lawsuit (Clifton Collins, Jr), an annoying neighbor (David Koechner), a slow-witted gigolo (Dustin Milligan) and a two-faced con-woman (Mila Kunis), Joel must find a way to rise above everyone attempting to take advantage of him.

It doesn’t sound like much but if anything I found the story to be fairly clever. The silly little twists and turns almost make up for the film’s lack of big laughs and I was certainly never bored. Judge’s characters are often quite amusing, a lot of critics have been calling them “one-dimensional” but I rather enjoy their stupid demeanor… I mean who does stupid better than the man who created Beavis and Butt-Head?

There are a lot of great bit parts and cameos, from Gene Simmons as an overly-aggressive lawyer, to Hal Sparks and some other guy as loser guitar salesman, to Judge himself as one of Joel’s simple minded employees (I wouldn’t of recognized him if it wasn’t for that low voice with a hint of Butt-Head) Judge’s supporting characters are always worth note and always amusing.

All in all it’s a funny little movie but nothing more than that. Not something you need to see in theaters but worth a rent. With King of the Hill ending I’d really like to see Judge stick to movies rather than animated television but he’s an unpredictable guy, so who knows what’s next.