• Guy Jeffries

Office Christmas Party Review


Directors: Josh Gordon, Will Speck.

Starring: T.J. Miller, Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance, Jillian Bell.

Now, I've been to some parties in my time, parties that have included fires on the roof of patios, blowing up a garden, chanting with the Hare Krishna, getting on the radio, bum fighting and defecating in inappropriate places. Witnessing one person recite the entire lyrics to LL Cool J's "I Need Love" whilst stepping over comatose revellers, people dancing naked on tables, drunkard piggy backs and beds being thrown from hotel windows! Some of which I have shamefully been planned or host to.

So, is the Office Christmas Party an event I see actually happening? Partly yes. In fact, I found a lot of it clichéd and lame, taking all the usual craziness that occurs at office parties and tried to turn the volume up to eleven, like the writers have drawn from their own experiences or trawled through countless stories of other people's epic parties and amalgamating them all into one raving lunatic party. It's like the uncut version of the office party in Wolf Of Wall Street who's having to share office space with the Channel 4 news room.

T.J. Miller is Clay, big kid, boss of a major hi-tech branch in Chicago only answerable to uber-bitch sister and CEO Carol, played by Jennifer Aniston, who wants to close his branch down unless he can close the deal of the century. Obviously, throwing the Christmas party of the century is the answer.

He's not alone with departmental, straight-laced manager Josh (Jason Bateman) and tech-innovator and screen eye candy, Tracey (Olivia Munn) among a cast of stereotypical, office misfits. Bateman does his usual, laid back, unsurprised lead who looks more like he just wandered into the wrong movie. Munn is the stunning star here, though, like Bateman, seem too serious to suit the rest of the movie.

I like the principles Clay strives for, a boss after my own heart, and Branson's too in a way, staff first, before customers and even share holders because of you look after the staff, you shouldn't have to worry about the customers. It's actually quite a true representation of how the corporate world of today has diminished morale and be profit focused. I get business is business, but they're lost something crucial along the way; valuing staff.

The trailer is a little misleading with Kate McKinnon, those expecting the same quirky craziness she gave in this year's Ghostbusters might be disappointed but she's still very funny, embodying an entire HR department with a watchful eye. Maybe the trailer should have been a teaser, daring to tempt viewers instead of showing some of the key parts which unfortunately makes the film predictable and anticlimactic.

As expected, it comes with a heavy soundtrack, dropping decent beats, especially the festive themed "Deck Da Club" from the Ying Yang Twins but it was disappointing to see Theodore Shapiro's name in the opening credits and not really hear his score. His work for Secret Life of Walter Mitty was one of my fave scores of 2013.

It's funny, but not the funniest film of the year by a long shot. The trailer suggested more and I wanted more.

Running Time: 7

The Cast: 7

Performance: 7

Direction: 7

Story: 6

Script: 5

Creativity: 6

Soundtrack: 5

Job Description: 4

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

54% 5/10

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