About ten minutes into the new Mike Judge comedy Extract, I realized how long it’s been since I’ve seen a really bad movie. I’m just not used to that feeling of “Oh my god… I have to spend another hour and a half forcing myself to laugh at something that isn’t funny.”
At one point I contemplated walking out, imagining that if I came across something this dull on TV, I would certainly change the channel. Even a DVD rental would likely get ejected before the halfway point. But when I pay my $20 and take my seat before the lights go down, it feels like I’ve entered into a contract. And my end of the bargain is staying until the lights come back up again. I might be forgetting something, but I don’t think I’ve ever left a theater mid-movie in my life.
Extract isn’t offensive, just uninteresting and unfunny (which, I suppose, is an offense of sorts). Mostly it is a mind-numbing waste of talent. Fine comic performers such as Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Mila Kunis and JK Simmons should not be squandered on a script this lame. Only Ben Affleck seems to be having any fun at all, and his drug-dealing bartender is the film’s one saving grace. But like most of the characters in this horrible script, he shows up seemingly at random then disappears for long stretches.
I’m not even sure what writer-director Judge was going for here. His much-loved Office Space was a hilarious satire of cubicle culture, a live-action Dilbert cartoon to which anybody who’s ever worked in an office can relate. Extract is about too many things, and nothing at all. There’s nothing to relate to here, no character that resembles an actual human being, no situation that rings true.
I’ve already wasted 90 minutes of my life on this film, so I’ll stop there before I add to the tally.