Despite his massive popularity from "Beavis and Butt-Head," "King of the Hill," "Office Space," and the disturbingly relevant "Idiocracy," the Mike Judge comedy flick "Extract" doesn't get talked about as much as it deserves. Written and directed by Judge, "Extract" is the story of Joel Reynold (Jason Bateman), the owner of a factory that specializes in the production of flavor extracts. On the surface, Joel seems to have a perfect life, but in reality, it's all a facade.
Joel's wife Suzie (Kristen Wiig) hasn't desired him sexually in quite some time, and rather than actually talk about their problems or see a sex therapist, Joel hatches up a ridiculous plan to get her to cheat on him, thereby removing any guilt he might have about starting an affair with his employee, Cindy (Mila Kunis). Of course, since this is a Mike Judge film, there's always an added level of ridiculousness, which comes in the form of Cindy being a con artist looking to set up a workplace "accident" that would completely bankrupt Joel and ruin him forever.
"Extract" has always felt like the inverse of "Office Space," sympathizing with a boss in slow decline, while still offering plenty of commentary about the evils of capitalism. As funny as the premise of "Extract" is, the film feels more like a character study of some hilariously defined personalities left to their own impulses. The performances are all top-notch, especially Jason Bateman as our complicated protagonist. The role of Joel is rich, especially for such a vibrant comedy, but according to Bateman, the chance to work with a legend like Mike Judge was his biggest motivator in joining the cast.
'I Got The Blessing'
During an interview promoting "Extract" with Collider, Jason Bateman said Mike Judge was "90%" of the reason why he joined the film, with the other 10% represented by the script. Bateman and Judge shared a manager at the time, Michael Rotenberg, who worked his managerial magic to make the connection. "[Rotenberg] told me about this project that Mike [Judge] had been playing with for a long time and I guess got the blessing from Mike to send me the script," Bateman said. "And I read the script and loved that and then Mike and I had lunch and we talked about it and it seemed like maybe he was going to maybe give me the part."
Bateman said he and Judge continued to meet about the project until Rotenberg ended up securing the necessary finances to bring the film to life. Luckily, it was the kind of financing that didn't come with strings attached. "Mike's got such a specific sensibility and comedic tone that if he got money in there that's sticking their finger in the cooking, it can start to kind of dilute the product," said Bateman. "So it took about 3 years until we got the right kind of money so he could have some autonomy."
As far as this writer is concerned, "Extract" was well worth the wait. The film provides some of the best examples of Judge's comedic impulses, and some stellar performances from comedy greats.
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The post Mike Judge Was '90%' Of The Reason Jason Bateman Joined Extract appeared first on /Film.