Faux-eco-friendly corporations. Workplace discrimination. Startup culture. Corporate Animals is one trade union song away from a revolutionary call to arms, and all the better for it. Politically speaking, director Patrick Brice and writer Sam Bain have a clear vision, even if comedically Corporate Animals struggles to maintain focus.
Corporate Animals throws a lot of ideas at the wall – most land, but not all. As a whole Corporate Animals has a clear sense of self, but lets a little too loose in the middle and the pacing and coherency suffer as a result. Easy gags and shock moments are milked for all their worth, and even the incredible casting of Demi Moore as CEO/Trumpian menace Lucy Vanderton starts to lose its bite. By far the standout sequences are dialogue-heavy, focusing on a mix of personalities glibly talking through dire straits. These play to Sam Bain’s strengths – you can almost hear Jez and Super Hans debating to eat Mark in this cave (you just know they’d gang up on him like that).
Moore stands out with her grotesque performance, but this is undoubtedly an ensemble film – Corporate Animals lines up a stellar cast of smaller names and gives them each their time to shine. Notable standouts include Karan Soni, who continues to steal the limelight with his unique blend of passive-aggression, and Nasim Pedrad’s quiet desperation at having to eat an ex-boyfriend.
Combining Bain’s magic for dialogue with the uneasy humour of Brice’s The Overnight and the horror of his Creep series, Corporate Animals struggles under the weight of so many hats, but ultimately emerges as a cracking black comedy. Come for the horror, stay for the conversation – just maybe don’t book any caving trips for the near future.
CAST: Demi Moore, Ed Helms, Jessica Williams, Karan Soni
DIRECTOR: Patrick Brice
WRITER: Sam Bain
SYNOPSIS: When disaster strikes a corporate team-building retreat to New Mexico, the workers of Incredible Edible Cutlery and their megalomaniacal CEO must band together in order to survive.