Extract (2009) examines the world of pointless work from the bosses' perspective, and their lives are not much better than their workers. Oddly enough, however, the central crux of the story has little or nothing to do with work, which renders this film, for all its deadpan humor, weaker and more diffuse than its famous predecessor. It consists of an odd little doodle--not a real humorous examination--on the subject of infidelity. And the deadpan style, the complete lack of reaction to almost any stimulus robs the brilliant Kristen Wiig of any opportunity for brilliance. In fact, nothing is connected to anything else. The product made--artificially created flavors--suggests ripe territory for satire of American life and tastes, but there is no follow-through there, either. One admires how Judge sidesteps potential cliches, but he does not replace them with any LOL ideas.
Is it funny? Yes. Is it as funny as it could be? What is? I'm afraid I won't know how funny Extract is for a while yet--and we'll have to see if we're still looking at it, or if we've moved onto something else. We do know this. Ben Affleck is much funnier as a minor supporting character than he is as a lead. At least, funnier on purpose.