Mike Judge is funny. His TV is the stuff of legends.
The — dare we say, groundbreaking — Beavis and Butt-head and King of the Hill helped revolutionize animation on television.
His movie Office Space poked great fun at business downsizing and today sits high on my comedy favorite list.
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Extract manages to extract some rib-ticklers out of a complex but convoluted plot that casts Jason Bateman (Hancock) as Joel, the owner of a flavor extraction business.
The tightly wound Joel wants more sex with his routinely-not-interested-wife Suzie. Joel’s solution is an affair with a drop-dead gorgeous temporary worker. To justify the affair, he hires a gigolo to seduce Suzie. He doesn’t think she’ll go there and then is totally surprised when she does. The woman on his mind is a money-grubbing con artist out to get her mitts on the settlement of one of Joel’s workers who loses his testicles in an accident.
It goes downhill from there but you get the point. Like all experimental comedy creators, not everything Judge attempts can be judged as funny.
Outrageous — yes. Always. Funny? Judge is hit and miss, but more hit than miss. The hit part of Extract is clever casting of skilled scene-stealing character actors and then letting them do what they do best.
Bateman anchors while J.K. Simmons, musician and sleazmo celebrity Gene Simmons, Clifton Collins Jr., David Koechner, Kristin Wiig and Ben Affleck have a blast, and carefully, and artfully, and lovingly deliver each line with pitch-perfect mock seriousness. Their fun is contagious and enough to hold you over when Extract can’t extract any more juice.
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated R for mature themes, language. It opens Friday, Sept. 4 at the Carmike 12 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.