If there’s one thing Office Christmas Party is, it’s festive. But not in a fuzzy, feel-good sort of a way. In a Bad Santa sort of way. The film is definitely set during the holiday season, and there’s definitely a Santa suit floating around there somewhere, but you still feel a little dirty after you watch it.
The best thing on show here has to be the stellar cast. We’ve got Bateman, Aniston, Munn and Miller, none of whom are strangers to the standard tropes of Gordon and Speck direction (think Blades of Glory). That ‘let’s do loads of cocaine and make 3D models of our dicks’ sort of humour. And for some, this will really hit the spot. But the real issue is that a solid comic cast are wasted on a derivative and somewhat overcooked script. There’s just not a lot of room to breathe here – the jokes are thrown out at you like machine-gun fire, not even waiting for the first joke to land before trying out another – which makes Office Christmas Party an altogether exhausting experience.
Honestly? It’s all bit of a mess. The audience never really figure out what story is being told, and maybe we don’t particularly want to. But the overall result is a series of strange festive mishaps that never coherently fit together.
Much like the jokes that tumble out of your Christmas crackers, you will likely feel the need to laugh at the feckless shenanigans throughout Office Christmas Party out of pure festive spirit. But if there’s one thing we do take away from this, it’s that Gordon and Speck know how to throw one hell of a party. They may have struck out at Christmas, but maybe we can try it again at New Year’s?
CAST: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, T.J. Miller, Olivia Munn
DIRECTOR: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
WRITER: Justin Malen, Laura Solon
SYNOPSIS: When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand…