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If you skip one Xmas party this year then make it Office Christmas
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 screen writing 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
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After the death of her father, Carol is made CEO of his multi- national
tech company. Carol's brother runs the under-performing Chicago branch,
and he must persuade his sister not to shut them down by throwing a
forbidden office Christmas party to impress and sign with a
high-powered business associate.
So, now that the "story" is out the way, we can focus on the rest of it. According to IMDb, this movie is a comedy - well you could've fooled me! Not only did I not laugh, I didn't even smirk. Not only did I not smirk, I didn't even smile internally. This is another one of those horrendous seasonal films that compiles a few well known actors and dumps them into a loud, drugged up, semi-nude environment where everyone swears and talks about their genitals. The script is appalling, there's nothing even slightly funny in there, and the comic timing is all over the place. The pathetic, sentimental ending was more infuriating than heartwarming and left more of a bitter taste than sweet.
All that said, it was interesting enough to hold my attention. The acting was pretty poor, but I quite like Bateman, Munn and Aniston (though Miller cancels them out and McKinnon wasn't as funny as usual). It's one of those movies that will probably amuse a certain demographic, but its appeal is fairly limited. Worth a watch at some point, but not worth paying for when it'll be on TV by this time next year.
Lack of effort means lack of amusement. Decent cast, but nothing for them to do. It's fine, but it's not funny.
The studios have been in a recent pattern of putting out some really
disappointing "comedies," "Hail, Caesar" and "Masterminds" spring to
mind first, and you can add "Office Christmas Party" to the list.
Potentially a great cast, an "R" rating which means they don't have to restrain the writing, and..............DUD. Especially with an "R" rating, I fully expect to have more than a few burst-out-laughing moments, that's not the case with this one.
A Human Resources person who runs around spouting company policies? Yeah, surprise....we never saw anything like that before. Really, ummm, funny. The odd thing was, when there was something that was genuinely funny, the audience we were with seemed afraid to laugh. When one character curses out a child at the airport, instead of laughing (because it's supposed to be a COMEDY, folks!), they were horrified. Oh well.
There's a few chuckles but mostly low-key humor dominating this film and that's all I got out of it. You'd be better off waiting for it to come to cable.
A lot of talented new and not so new actors and comedians appear in
this and like a lot of movies with too many people in it, none get to
do much. The set up takes a long time to build to the party but the set
up is better than the pay off. It's just a formless mess by that point,
the "jokes" become every character dropping the F bomb and most of the
slapstick doesn't work.
Is that really still funny? How many years of R rated movies have we seen and R rated comedies? Jason Bateman gamely goes the distance playing straight man. Aniston does a one note version of her previously funnier, mean heartless bitch roles in Horrible Bosses--only there is not twist or reason for it, other than that the movie needs a villain--I guess.
It's just not very clever or funny. Only Courtney B. Vance manages to make his obvious part funny. I suppose this may be a little harsh there are chuckles here and there but it never really takes off and the "story" and resolution are both obvious and confusing. You never get any sense that this office of people give a crap about each other or their jobs--but then we are asked to root for them?
Of course there is also a fair amount of what should be black humor but only little bits of this work the rest just seem kind of ugly. This movie will try everything to see what works but not much does. A lot of fake looking snow in the film which has a flat video look to it as well. You'll just wish that all these good actors had something genuinely funny or original to do--but if that's your Christmas wish this movie won't fulfill it. You really need a script and a sense of direction---from the directors. Oh there's a guy in a sheep costume too, I give it a 3 instead of a 2 because of that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Here's a mess of a movie. The first hint of a problem is the number of
writing credits. The next hint is two directors.
The movie starts too soon with a scene in the attorney's office with a couple of jokes that fall flat. The info from that scene really didn't matter. The movie starts when Jennifer Aniston storms in and trashes the decorations.
The movie falls the number one test of a comedy. There are just not enough laughs. There is plenty of bad language, drinking, and drug use. There is even some attempts at humor using a gun as a comedy prop. So much doesn't work.
If you last that long, the stills and clips in the end credits make it look like the cast had a better time then the audience. If you pay anything to see this it is too much. Stay home and sort your socks rather then attend this party.
Well, where do I begin with this? A comedy about office politics? Geez, where have I seen that before? If you're going to make a comedy movie these days, make it high concept, and if you can't, at least make it funny. Office Christmas Party commits the sin of being neither. Many film critics say this, but I haven't seen a comedy movie more deserving of this title... it's a 90-minute SNL skit.... oh wait, I'm sorry, Current SNL. It thinks it's a wild and crazy comedy, and oh boy, is it not. It plays it safe on nearly everything. It's as if Kate McKinnon's ultra-sensitive HR character directed the film. For a such a diverse cast of funny men and women, they are neutered of good material to work with. Jason Bateman is given nothing. Jennifer Aniston's character is one-note, though I'll give her credit for at least trying to make it work. Then, there's T.J. Miller. Dane Cook lite. He's currently being groomed as Hollywood's next hottest comedy star, and if he is, welcome to the dark ages. He is woefully unfunny. How did he make it out there? Why is it that so many amazing comedians, screenwriters and directors get turned down straight out of film school, and yet they give this man a shot? He gets the most screen time out of everyone here. It's quite sad actually. There are good performances in this, believe it or not. Kate McKinnon and the always funny Rob Corddry are the only two shining spots in this otherwise terrible film. I could go on, but why bother? I don't really need to, but when you spend 30 bucks for you and your friend to go see this in a theater, I feel the need to vent.
What a waste of a potentially funny talented cast. This year's big
budget Christmas movie has about 10% of it that is funny - the rest is
painful crude and unfunny. The premise has some potential but things
run out of steam quickly.
The cast performs as well as they can. Jennifer Aniston is probably the reason why someone would choose to watch this movie. She is good at playing the bitchy hard as nails CEO. Olivia Munn has the main female lead role here and she is quite attractive. The other Asian American cast members are wasted. Jamie Chung serves mainly as eye candy and Randall Kim has a painful goofy role. Jason Bateman is okay TJ Miller is the brother and looks suitably stoned.
Save yourself - this one is one for the bargain DVD bin.
OK, this movie was not as good as some commentators have said, and not nearly as bad as others have said. It was a fairly decent holiday comedy. The plot may have been a bit predictable, but it was executed very well. Jennifer Aniston is always charming, even when she plays a character in full-on bitch mode. Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn were adequate and competent, and T. J. Miller overplayed his part a little. Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer did nice work, and Jillian Bell was hilariously awesome. Yes, the tone was sarcastic and profane, but what do you expect from an R-rated comedy in this day and age? Overall, when it comes out, it will be more of a Netflix rental than a disc to buy.
A rolling embarrassment from top to bottom. Actors, crew,
scriptwriter/s, directors/s, producers, distributors, theaters and
Whoever thought this 'idea' was worthy of spending money on should be drafted into the Army to make STD protection documentaries.
The dialog was a combination of 'we're hip' and 'we're cute' and finally 'we're immature and silly and you must laugh at our foolish antics'. Not to mention 'we've got cool jobs, act like jerks at work and nobody with a brain ever calls us on it'.
The acting was straight out of Pac Bell. They read their lines in the trailer and then spoke them when the camera was running. What could go wrong?
December always brings with it a raft of Yuletide yarns that are often fun but not overly great. This crude comedy continues that trend with an enjoyable yet completely disposable romp about the epic eponymous work shindig. When laidback office head Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller) is warned his Chicago department (inherited from Daddy) is going to be closed down unless he can secure a big contract, his solution is to throw an expensive party with live animals, lots of booze and the promise of bonuses. Of course the proverbial hits the fan and everything that can go wrong, does. Think The Hangover: Xmas Edition where we actually witnessed the night unfold before seeing everyone wake up with killer headaches and life lessons learnt. The gags fly at a million miles an hour with some sticking and some not, but it coasts by on it's super light mood and the sense that this group of extremely funny people are just having a blast hanging out on set and cracking jokes. Miller's man-child and Kate McKinnon's HR by-the-book weirdo are the standouts, and Jason Bateman's and Olivia Munn's more sensible employees are fine (although lacking chemistry as love interests), however Jennifer Aniston and Rob Corrdry are total misfires which bore throughout. The film also dovetails quickly when it gives a pimp subplot way too much attention, and the save-the-internet finale is dumb even by a popcorn comedy's standards, although the eclectic Christmas-themed soundtrack is surprisingly good. The epitome of a throwaway movie, Office Christmas Party maintains a certain level of enjoyment with its breezy vibe and the occasional laugh-out-loud gag, but is ultimately forgettable.
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