[Review] Office Christmas Party – Good but could have been great

Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck

Cast:  Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. MillerJennifer AnistonKate McKinnon

Our Rating

3_star

TRAILER

I have been a critic of non-existent comedy movies in recent times and there hasn’t been many too. My recent favorite was Spy starring Melissa McCarthy and then there are some others too. Problem with comedy movies is that if the joke is for general audience with a PG13 rating then not many people would laugh but if it is rated R then some might. The jokes or physical comedy needs to be just right. Throughout time there are some who can really pull off comedy on their own like Jerry Lewis, Peter Sellers, Charlie Chaplin and during the last decade Jim Carrey. They all relied on the script but always added some of their own blend to it making their characters remembered.

This movie is not one of them but it is an average attempt to create a disaster movie with a high moral message in the end.

OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY

The story is of a family business which is being run by siblings, predominantly by one than the other after the death of their father. One can quickly grasp the idea during the first 15 minutes and can pretty much judge where the movie would lead to. Having said that, the carefree sibling is played by T.J.Miller who seems stoned most of the time, and the other serious sibling who is also acting CEO is played by Jennifer Aniston. Jason Bateman plays the trusted employee and friend of Miller and is respected by Jennifer too. Olivia Munn plays the geek IT person who works under Jason and is also the female lead in the movie.

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In the start we see the Christmas season has come and Miller wants to throw a massive office party and give bonuses to the employees. One can pretty much judge by the way he conducts his business that his employees (mostly) also have chimp brains. Jennifer is not happy with the performance of Miller’s branch and decides to shut it down only to have Miller challenges her that he would bring a massive account in and will save his employees from getting fired. He’s give 24 hours to do so. She also cancels all office parties because of budget overflow (logically) and waste of resources. Well you can pretty much imagine and see through the trailer that the office party is a disaster.

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Coming towards the comedy in the movie, I think Jennifer Aniston impressed me the most as she was most comfortable playing a bitchy elder sister and boss. After her role in Horrible bosses, she seemed to have found a new niche for herself. However, I would have liked more screen time for her. Jason Bateman is an underrated actor who has the potential to be a comic genius but somehow doesn’t get the roles he deserves. He does a good job but it’s maybe the script that did not do justice.

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T.J. Miller is alright, nothing special about him as he plays all his roles with monotony, stoned attitude. He was particularly good in Deadpool but that was it. I think he should stick more to TV shows like Silicon Valley. Olivia Munn is hot and does play her role of a an over efficient nerd but there were moments where I felt that she should be casted into more serious roles. The only time I loved her performance was in the TV show The Newsroom.

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Lastly, SNL fame, Kate McKinnon is also present played the head of HR (Human Resources). She too has become monotonous in her performance with same serious/psycho kind of behavior. Maybe the directors should stop typecasting her and she should stop accepting a typecast role.

VERDICT

Overall, it is a watchable movie with some pretty good funny moments but it does make one feel left out after watching the trailer and then the actual movie. It did fare pretty good on the box office with over $100 million gross globally but then again it could have been more. I sure can expect a sequel with another star cast and Jennifer Aniston so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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