Director: Josh Gordon and Will Speck
Running Time: 105 minutes
Main Cast: T.J Miller, Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Courtney B. Vance, Jennifer Aniston Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson and Jamie Chung.
The silly season has well and truly arrived and Office Christmas Party is well and truly a silly film.
Office Christmas Party is a movie that literally pokes fun at every work Christmas do and goes way over the top like every cliché party movie. The plot follows an IT company called Zanotech, led by Clay (T.J Miller), as he and coworkers Josh (Jason Bateman) and Tracey (Olivia Munn) try to impress Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance) a potential client by throwing a massive Christmas party. Clay’s sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston), the CEO of the company is trying to shut down the office they work in because of poor performances, which could ultimately cost the many staff at the office to lose their jobs. Queue the excessive drug use, alcohol, nudity and blatant disregard for property that triggers trouble, like it always does in these films.
This is the latest comedy from directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck who directed Blades of Glory. It co-stars Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson and Jamie Chung. Add in stars T.J Miller, Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Courtney B. Vance and Jennifer Aniston and this is a chocker block cast, full of people all striving for the lime light and it really becomes too much as it seems each actor tries to out do the others. You have T.J Miller trying to be over the top childish, Kate McKinnon is the company’s over the top HR officer with some funny parts, whilst others in the cast try to outdo them, but soon it begins to feel like every line has to have a joke in it. It’s this try hard nature that really brings down some parts of the film and diminishes its value, leading to what seems to be an abundance of chemistry between the cast members. The two main relationships in the film, the bromance between Miller’s Clay and Bateman’s Josh and the relationship between Bateman’s Josh and Munn’s Tracey seem to lack the chemistry and energy to make them relatable or able to connect to. Often it’s hard to watch scenes between two of the actors, as they seem to have no chemistry. It only appears towards the end that the chemistry between some of the actors starts to shine through as crisis hits, but it is too little too late by this stage.
This lack of chemistry can relate back to the script, which is overall weak, with some funny bits injected into it. At times it just seems dry and seems to be consistent with its pacing throughout, considering the party started to get rowdy at one point or when the third act begun to conclude. The script seems to focus more on the jokes and less about the story development, a balance between the two would have lifted the level of chemistry between the cast and also lifted the standard of the film. Occasionally we are greeted with some sunshine during the film when the rare quality gag is able to make you forget about how slow plot or how dry the script is, but the ratio of laughs to filler content is just too large and you slump back into your seat in hope of reaching another quality gag that will lift you up again for a little bit, before you hit the dry stuff once again.
Office Christmas Party is an overall silly movie clinging onto the occasional quality joke that quantifies it as a comedy, but its large ensemble cast with no chemistry and a dry consistent paced script makes it even sillier, just sadly not in a good way.
The Front Row Opinion