Title – Office Christmas Party (2016)
Director – Josh Gordon and Will Speck (The Switch)
Cast – Jason Bateman, T.J Miller, Olivia Munn, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry
Plot – With their companies tech business likely to be closed down, branch manager Clay Vanstone (Miller) and Chief Technical Officer Josh Parker (Bateman) decide to have one last ditched effort to save the company and have a good time while doing so at a staff Christmas Party that quickly runs out of hand.
“Tonight the decisions you make will have consequences that will haunt you for the rest of your professional lives”
Review by Eddie on 15/12/2016
If you skip one Xmas party this year then make it Office Christmas Party.
A criminally unfunny and underdeveloped high concept comedy, trying to recapture that Hangover like tone, Blades of Glory directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck fail to ignite the spirit of Xmas with this comedy caper that brings the festive vibe, but fails to bring the laughs.
Like receiving a lump of coal in your Xmas stocking, Party offers up an interesting proposition but delivers nothing but disappointment, as a talented cast are laboured with material that should’ve been left in Santa’s screenwriting workshop as the appealing idea of a wild office party complete with outlandish shenanigans is instead overrun by a totally unappealing story of a struggling company trying to win a big contract, with added bi-polar pimps, sister/brother in-fighting and misuses of the office 3-D printer instead taking over.
It’s like you’re constantly waiting for the true laughs to kick in as a rather labour intensive lead up to the party hitting full swing seems to drag on for far too long then once the party actually starts we are taken away on a consistent basis to revert back to one of the films countless other side stories, it’s almost as if Gordon and Speck didn’t trust their core concept enough and in the end failed to even unlock any of its potential to be a festive themed riot.
Making matters worse for the film’s tired scripting and plotting is a collection of equally tired performances from a well renowned cast.
Lead by the ever the same Jason Bateman (looking and acting like he couldn’t care less), Party wastes the comedic talents of T.J Miller (who seems better suited to cameo like turns rather than high screen time), Jennifer Anniston, Rob Cordry and worst of all Kate McKinnon while Olivia Munn just feels out of place in the whole wild night. The cast clearly had chances to improvise a large portion of the films dialogue and situations but barely any of the films payoffs actually work and at the end of the day most of the material here is below the performers talents.
Looking to strike that cord between festive joy and raunchy comedy gold, Office Christmas Party ends up failing to find a winning balance in either denominator and with a collection of recycled jokes and confused stars, this is the worst kind of party where no one seems to be having fun other than the ones that organised the whole shebang.
½ a Kia out of 5