With Judge’s jump to feature films with 1999’s Office Space, subsequent to Beavis and Butthead hitting the big screen, fans were able to locate some of the same insights from the cartoon being dispatched by live human beings. And while a number of the characters from Office Space were nothing other than hilarious mock ups of stereotypes, the film was nothing less than a late night cable hit after it flopped in theaters. And no, no one understands why Jennifer Aniston was in the movie, but she looked ok with all of that flare.
Regardless, Judge returned a few years later with the Luke Wilson vehicle Idiocracy. The 2006 film had a promising premise and a funny guy staring, but was really one of the worst movies released not just that year, but perhaps during the decade. Granted, some critics probably figured the same thing about Office Space, so in the future perhaps Idiocracy might be perceived as something of value. Probably not though.
All of that brings us to last years Extract. The cast this time ‘round winds up seeming as promising as anything in Judge’s filmic past. Jason Bateman, late of Arrested Development fame, Mila Kunis from That ‘70s Show and Ben Affleck from, well the life of Ben Affleck come together for this weird moral tale about marriage, business and theft.
The narrative begins with Bateman’s character needing to break up some dispute on the floor of his company’s distribution center. In these opening moments half of the principal players are set up to good effect and viewers are able to understand that Bateman’s really just a good guy that struck it rich – he’s no tycoon although he drives some audacious BMW.
Viewers soon find that his marriage, despite his checkbook, isn’t doing too well. Bateman’s character doesn’t get laid at home and eventually determines – with the help of Affleck’s bar tender character – that if his wife is willing to carry on an extra-marital affair, it’d be alright to pursue the newly hired Kunis character.
Ah, the deceit begins.
There’s some elaborate plan hatched involving a male prostitute, which doesn’t turn out that well. But seeing as Bateman’s character eventually gets to bed down the Kunis character, a shambolic home life seems worth it.
As would be expected, though, there’re some entertaining moments – a few amusing quips – but nothing that comes off as so overtly funny as to warrant repeat viewings.
Extract’s leagues ahead of Idiocracy, but Judge could be figured to just be chasing the feeling that Office Space offered up about a decade ago. That’s a pretty disparaging way by which to perceive all of this, but this isn’t the first time a director hits it big (kinda) just before going sour. At least Office Space is on TV a lot now.