Office Christmas Party: Movie Review

Updated on December 10, 2016
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Office Christmas Party
Office Christmas Party | Source

Three screenwriters, three story developers, and two directors─the people responsible for The Hangover, Blades of Glory, and Borat. Plus Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, TJ Miller, Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, and even Johnnie Cochran himself, People vs. OJ's Courtney B. Vance.

And they still can’t keep Office Christmas Party from feeling like a two-minute Saturday Night Live sketch that should have never been made, much less stretched into a full-length film. (The inspiration actually was a 2015 SNL digital short, and a pretty good one at that.)

So...bummer, right? The Office Christmas Party trailer looked hella good, and certainly there’s no more fertile fodder for a punch-drunk (emphasis on “drunk”) comedy than the annual non-denominational holiday place-of-employment mixer.

But exactly how many more movies do we need with Bateman playing the mirthless straight (as in not funny) man, with Aniston screwing on four-inch stilettos and marching around like a stormtrooper, and with alcohol-induced revelry nearing biblical proportions (both in destruction and lack of originality)?

The sad thing is (as if all that weren’t sad enough) that there are plenty of isolated moments and peripheral characters that showed immense promise. But for every hilarious Tarzan-like, Christmas-light swing that ends in a file cabinet faceplant there’s a dozen lazy, telegraphed moments. Like that time when two people go up to the roof and (oops!) the door locks behind them. Oh dear, I wonder if they’ll have a moment of self-discovery during this quiet time?

The only thing more ridiculous is if an employee had been lying to skeptical co-workers about his model-hot girlfriend, and then be forced to hire a prostitute to “prove them wrong”. Oh wait, we get that, too.

Surely though, that whiplash-inducing random conversation two people have about wanting to try to jump a car across an open drawbridge won’t come back into play at the end of the film, will it? Yes. Yes it will.

There is a plot here (paper-thin though it may be). Aniston is Carol, ruthless and petty CEO of a tech company. Brother Clay (Miller) runs the Chicago branch. She wants to shut him down, since daddy loved Clay more than her. Clay’s a lovable loser and wants to save all his friends’ jobs, so he invites big-time prospective client (Vance) to the party. Bateman and Olivia Munn play the boring, soon-to-be love interests who bring down the movie every second they’re on screen. And Kate McKinnon is the company’s HR rep.

The rest of the movie (which is most of it) is nothing but people having orgies in bathroom stalls, 3-D printing body parts, and causing so much destruction it’s unfathomable that not only police, fire, and rescue weren’t called, but that somehow the National Guard and SWAT missed it, too.

The longer the party goes, the more it careens off the rails, and the same can be said for the movie itself. Over the course of an hour and forty-five minutes, you’ll laugh a half-dozen times (mostly at Jillian Bell as a whack-a-doo pimp and Fortune Feimster as the world’s best Uber driver), but the rest of the time you’ll see punchlines coming from a mile away and then want to run for the doors as the gang of misfits gets its stuff together to save the day (via the most wildly impossible bit of technological wizardry ever seen in a movie) and then melt the cold, dead heart of the ruthless, horrible boss.

The only thing we'd need then would be a blooper reel over the end credits to give us a couple good laughs in the hopes we would forget the idiotic film we just sat through. Oh wait. Yup, there it is.

Rsting

2/5 stars

'Office Christmas Party' trailer

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 18 months ago

      Thanks for the warning.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)