I have to admit, I expected more from this film, having been hyped up by the ad I saw for it on TV, then not having it shown at any cinema in a three-county radius. So by the time the DVD was available, I was on the edge of my seat to see it. I just wish I'd rented it first, instead of blindly purchasing it based on my liking of Mike Judge's past efforts.
"Beavis and Butt-Head" was a global phenomenon that showed us teenagers as they really are. "Office Space" was a low-key workplace masterpiece that became a juggernaut of a cult hit and changed the American stationery market. "Idiocracy," while slightly more Lowest Common Denominator, was still a crackingly good swipe at how society is dumbing down. "King of the Hill" is popular, enduring, gentle humour which people of all ages can enjoy. "Extract" is just . . . . enh. I can't even work up enough emotion about it to give it a better adjective than a noncommittal grunt!
There's absolutely nothing wrong with the acting, which is all well-done. The sets, locations, costumes, and props all look spot-on. Some of the character types are probably immediately recognisable from your own life. And there's even a nice little physics / chemistry in-joke for anyone who knows what a triple-point is and why it would be important for food additives. The plot itself is well-outlined in the other reviews here, so there's no need for me to reiterate it again.
But "Extract" just sort of . . . plods. None of the characters really struck me as sympathetic, and as a result, the movie felt like it smacked into me and slid right off without any impact or residue whatsoever. I got a few chuckles out of it, but my sides were in no danger of splitting wide open. Perhaps I could've given this film three stars instead of two, but compared to the other Mike Judge works on my DVD shelves, it just doesn't measure up. Also, it could've used Stephen Root in it somewhere.
Now, I've had people comment on a couple of my reviews that while they liked the copy I wrote, they completely disagreed with my opinions expressed therein. (My thanks to you fine folks for the encouragement and pointers!) And I really do hope there are people out there who will enjoy this movie a lot more than I did, disagree with me completely, and lend support to Mike Judge's career, so he can turn out some more excellent wry social satire in the future. But I'll say this: I recommend renting this film (or waiting to see it on TV for free) to see if it's your cup of tea before committing to a purchase. Especially as the DVD has absolutely nothing in the way of extras, not even a trailer. As for myself, I'm only holding onto it to express support for Mike's efforts; I probably won't even watch it a second time.