Thursday, October 22, 2009

London Film Fest Day 9 - EXTRACT

What is EXTRACT doing in the London Film Festival? It's not a high-brow art film looking for UK distribution. It's not the latest movie from an acknowledged auteur - Jarmusch, Egoyan, Haneke. And it's not a high profile glitzy premiere designed to lure the sponsors - a necessary evil. Nope. EXTRACT is an enjoyable but ultimately lightweight comedy from Mike Judge. Worse still, it's less conceptually interesting than IDIOCRACY, if better executed.

So, let's approach this as if it were just another Saturday night movie. Jason Bateman stars a successful businessman called Joel. On the surface he has it all: great house, great car, pretty wife, and his own business - a flavouring factory. But everything's going wrong for Joel. His staff are morons; his wife won't sleep with him; his neighbour's a creep; and he's falling for a con woman. Worst of all, his best friend (Ben Affleck) keeps advising him to do drugs and other crazy shit.

As the movie opens you think the con woman (Mila Kunis) is going to be the star but she drops off the radar. Then the movie almost becomes a bromance with Joel as Dante from CLERKS and Ben Affleck as his Randall. (Without the swearing and Star Wars jokes, of course.) It all feels a bit PG Kevin Smith. Stuff happens; Affleck, J K Simmons and the guy who plays Brad the gigolo are funny; a few laughs are had and it all winds up happily enough.

Not bad but nothing special either.

And will someone please give Mila Kunis a decent part?

EXTRACT was released in the US and Canada in September. It opens in Iceland on November 20th and in the Netherlands on April 29th 2010.

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