Review: OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY (2016) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Monday, 12 December 2016



When the ruthless CEO Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) of tech company Zenotek threatens to shut down the Chicago branch run by her brother Clay (T.J. Miller), he is given a short-period ultimatum to save his company by securing a US$14-million contract with potential client Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), or face a massive downsizing. In order to do so, Clay enlists the help of a recently-divorced chief technical officer Josh Parker (Jason Bateman) and lead systems engineer Tracey (Olivia Munn) to throw a big Christmas party in a desperate attempt to impress the client.

REVIEW: With a cast of familiar comedians including Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, T.J. Miller and Kate McKinnon as well as a potentially entertaining setup set during the yuletide season, OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY seems like a huge pile of fun. Not to mention all the promises this movie could have been, especially given its straightforward title and an 18-rating to boot.

However, directors Will Speck and Josh Gordon alongside writers Dan Mazer, Justin Malen and Laura Solon, botches the supposedly wicked and zany premise by playing safe with tired clichés that we have seen countless times before. The laughs are few and far between. Not even the inclusion of 18-rated raunchy gags (with some scenes are censored here in our local cinemas) and profanities are able to do much either. The overall plot, in the meantime, is as formulaic and predictable as it goes.


The least saving grace here is the cast. T.J. Miller, who can be seen earlier this year in DEADPOOL, delivers a reasonably goofy yet likeable performance as Clay Vanstone. He even pairs well with Jason Bateman, who in turn, gives an equally effective role as Josh Parker. The rest, including Kate McKinnon as the strict HR administrator Mary, Courtney B. Vance as the potential business client Walter Davis, Abbey Lee as the sexy escort Savannah and Jillian Bell as her gun-crazy pimp Trina, are just as worthwhile. But the same cannot be said with Olivia Munn's stiff performance as Tracey, while Jennifer Aniston is given ample room to shine with her supporting role as the uptight yet remorseless CEO Carol Vanstone.

While most of the ensemble cast here are effective, OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY is sadly undone by clichéd-ridden comedy materials and uninspired direction by Will Speck and Josh Gordon.

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