September 6, 2009

Extract - 2009

Director: Mike Judge
Writer: Mike Judge
Starring: Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, JK Simmons

In the return (no one counts Idiocracy because of its poor studio situation) to the silver screen of Office Space writer/director Mike Judge, Joel (Jason Bateman) owns an extract company, and is having some trouble with his wife (Kristen Wiig). He's thinking of selling off the company, but a possible lawsuit from an injured employee complicates things. The gold-digging Cindy (Mila Kunis) and Joel's druggie best friend Dean (Ben Affleck) don't exactly make his life any easier either.

Office Space was a remarkable film, and maybe it's unfair to compare this to that. Unfortunately, everyone going to see it is going to do the same thing. You'd think a film with such an all-star cast would have to be good, but that would be a mistake. Kunis can't break the role of Jackie from That 70s Show, Bateman's usual Michael Bluthesque character falls flat--not even a small appearance by Gene Simmons as a bus-stop-bench-ad lawyer saves this film. On top of this, Judge essentially rewrote Office Space. Both films contain:
  • a white-collar main character with a lower-class friend
  • main character having relationship issues
  • character that talks too much, keeping people from getting where they want to be on time
  • an annoying female coworker
  • the death of a fat guy
Unfortunately, lightning can't strike twice for Mike Judge. The film's not quotable at all (there goes cult classic status), and I DIDN'T LAUGH ONCE. Kevin Smith said he got into the film industry to "make Clerks over and over again." I hope Judge doesn't take another page out of that book anytime soon.

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