Extract is a 2009 American comedy film written and directed by Mike Judge, and starring an ensemble cast featuring Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, and Ben Affleck, with J. K. Simmons, Clifton Collins, Jr., and Dustin Milligan.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mike Judge|
|Written by||Mike Judge|
|Music by||George S. Clinton|
|Edited by||Julia Wong|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Box office||$10.8 million|
Joel Reynolds is the owner and founder of Reynolds Extract, a flavoring-extracts company. Although his business is successful, his marriage lacks passion. He is also often accosted by his annoying neighbor, Nathan. One day, a series of mishaps occur at the extract factory, resulting in an employee, Step, losing a testicle. Cindy, a con artist, reads a news story about the accident. Hatching a get-rich-quick scheme, she gets a temporary job at the factory, manipulating Joel into giving her more information about Step. She also begins a series of petty thefts from her co-workers, who openly accuse each other of the thefts. Although Step initially decides not to sue the company, he changes his mind after a meeting with Cindy, that she sets up in order to meet and flirt with him. Under Cindy's influence, Step hires attorney Joe Adler.
Joel, mistaking Cindy's manipulations for genuine attraction to him, entertains the idea of an affair with her; however, he still loves his wife, and wants to avoid actions that would leave him with regrets later. While visiting his friend Dean and complaining about his situation, Dean suggests that Joel hire a gigolo to seduce his wife, so that Joel can then have a guilt-free "revenge" affair. Joel initially balks at the idea; but, after his judgment is impaired after ingesting a ketamine tablet that Dean mistakenly told him was Xanax, Joel agrees. The friends hire Brad to seduce his wife, Suzie, into an affair, while posing as the pool cleaner. The next morning, Joel sobers up, realizes what he has done, and tries to stop Brad from going to his house; by then, Brad and Suzie have already begun an affair. Brad falls in love with Suzie and wants to run away with her. After smoking marijuana with Dean and his friend Willie, Joel attempts to call Cindy, but soon realizes that he is calling Willie's number. Just then, Cindy walks into the apartment. Willie realizes that Joel is trying to get with Cindy, and punches Joel in the face.
Joel meets with Adler and his associates to discuss the terms of the settlement for Step. The workers, believing that the meeting is about a buy-out of the factory by General Mills, organize a strike. Frustrated by Adler's uncompromising negotiating style and the growing disrespect from his employees, Joel storms out and goes home—where Suzie admits her affair with Brad. Joel admits to Suzie that he hired Brad to do it, then leaves after arguing with his wife.
Joel moves into a motel, where he spots Cindy, staying in another room. When he goes to her room, he notices a purse stolen from one of his employees, along with other stolen items, and realizes that Cindy is not only a thief, but is also behind many of the company's problems. Joel threatens to call the police, but softens when Cindy breaks down in tears. Cindy promises to talk to Step and get him to drop the lawsuit. Ultimately, the two spend the night together. The next morning, Cindy disappears, but leaves the stolen items behind.
Step meets with Joel at the factory, where he offers to drop the lawsuit if Joel promotes him to floor manager. Meanwhile, Nathan stops by Joel's house making Suzie lose her temper, finally telling him what she really thinks of him. Just as she finishes her tirade, he collapses and dies; feeling guilty, Suzie attends the funeral, where she runs into Joel. After an awkward moment, the two agree to share a ride. It is revealed that Cindy has stolen Adler's luxury car, leaving him Step's truck in its place.
- Jason Bateman as Joel Reynolds
- Mila Kunis as Cindy
- Kristen Wiig as Suzie Reynolds
- Ben Affleck as Dean
- J. K. Simmons as Brian
- Clifton Collins, Jr. as Don "Step" Wilkinson
- Dustin Milligan as Brad Chávez
- David Koechner as Nathan
- Beth Grant as Mary
- T. J. Miller as Rory
- Javier Gutiérrez as Hector
- Lidia Porto as Gabriella
- Gene Simmons as Joe Adler
- Matt Schulze as Willie
- Lamberto Gutierrez as Victor
- Brent Briscoe as Phil
- Hal Sparks as Guitar salesman #1
- Nick Thune as Guitar salesman #2
- Tom Virtue as Guitar customer
- Jenny O'Hara as Joel's secretary
Principal photography began on August 25, 2008 in Los Angeles. Shortly after completing Office Space (1999), director Mike Judge was already about 40 pages into his follow-up script, set in the world of an extract factory, when he was convinced by his representative team that he needed to shelve that and concentrate on something more commercial. "The only idea that I had that anyone was interested in was what eventually became Idiocracy," says Judge. Over the next several years he focused his energy on developing Idiocracy. But years later, by the time of the film’s release, audiences had decided that Office Space had struck a chord, and they were ready to see Judge return to on-the-job humor and thus the Extract script was given new life.
Seeking to keep Extract below the radar of the studio system, Judge and his producers set up a production company, Ternion Productions, and arranged private financing—while partnering with Miramax for domestic distribution of the film. Judge relied heavily on his own personal knowledge of the industrial world to bring the story to life. "I actually worked in a factory a little bit myself," the director stated. "I hopefully write stuff that is recognizable as the archetypes of this world." Keeping true to this baseline of reality, "Extract" was shot in a working factory, in this case a water bottling plant south of Los Angeles, in the City of Commerce. Judge took the authenticity one step further by using the plant's employees as extras in the scenes' backgrounds. "Those people were actually running, doing some bottling while we were shooting. There were people working on machines that were so loud in there they couldn’t hear anyone call 'action' or 'cut.' They were just doing their job." Shooting on the factory set led Judge to some epiphanies about what made the story resonate for him: "Office Space was told from the point of view of the employees looking up at management as the 'bad guys'. This is told from the point of view of the owner of the place and the workers are the big pain in the butt to him. I think partly it was inspired by that point in my life where I suddenly had a large number of people working for me and realizing you can’t be a 'cool guy boss'. It just doesn’t work. So this is my more sympathetic take on the boss."
Leading up to the film's release, Affleck went on a promotional tour of various cities, starting in Vancouver, Washington, on August 20, 2009, and ending in Los Angeles on September 14, 2009.
Extract made $4.3 million during its opening weekend and $7.1 million in its first week of release, with a total worldwide gross of 10.8 million, against a production budget of $8 million.
On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 62% based on 185 reviews, with an average rating of 5.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Extract has some very funny moments and several fine performances, but the film feels slighter and more uneven than Mike Judge's previous work." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 61 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Dan Zak of The Washington Post, called it "the most disappointing American comedy of the decade". On the other end of the spectrum, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune called it "the funniest American comedy of the summer".
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- Nasson, Tim (August 13, 2009). "Extract-Behind the Scenes". wildaboutmovies.com. Archived from the original on June 30, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "Beavis and Butthead promo for 'Extract': Huh, huh, huh...you said Mr. Bateman". Entertainment Weekly. September 2, 2009. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
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- Zak, Dan (September 4, 2009). "'Extract': Sadly, It's Dumb and Dumber". Washington Post. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
- Phillips, Michael (September 4, 2009). "'Extract' – 3½ stars". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 4, 2009.