Sep 092009
Authors: Laura James

Mike Judge, the creator of “Beavis and Butthead,” “Office Space,” and “Idiocracy” returns back to the workplace in his newest comedy “Extract.”

The story follows the successful food extract factory owner Joel, played by Jason Bateman (“Hancock” and “Juno”), who is dealing with the many stresses of middle-aged life.

After a terrible accident at the extract plant caused the loss of an employee’s testicle, Joel spirals through a mid-life crisis of huge proportions.

While facing a potential lawsuit for the testicle incident, Joel discovers he has feelings for a new employee, Cindy, played by Mila Kunis (“That ’70s Show” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”).

Joel’s best friend Dean, played by a shabby looking Ben Affleck, is a dimwitted stoner working as a bartender. Dean convinces Joel he should hire a male prostitute to sleep with his wife so Joel can have an affair guilt-free.

While under the influence of alcohol and horse tranquilizers, Joel agrees to hire the gigolo. The plan predictably backfires, leaving Joel with more problems than he had in the beginning.

The prostitute he hired falls in love with his wife, his neighbor won’t stop hassling him and, unbeknownst to Joel, his love interest is secretly a scam artist after all of his money.

Although “Extract” provides a few laughs, the film was mediocre.

Mike Judge films in the past have made statements about society and social environments, for example “Office Space” is a critique of politically correct office culture, and “Idiocracy” is a warning about the promiscuity of the illiterate.

“Extract” lacks the depth offered by Mike Judge films. The ensemble cast tries hard to get some laughs, but altogether “Extract” is one to miss.

Movie reviewer Laura James can be reached at

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