Starring: Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Munn
Director: Will Speck, Josh Gordon
Running Time: 105 mins
Office Christmas Party is an American film about a branch that plans to throw the Christmas party to end all Christmas parties, as they attempt to convince a prospective client. However, despite the objections of the CEO, the party rapidly gets way out of control.
There’s nothing particularly exceptional about Office Christmas Party, but it’s simple, formulaic and energetic enough to make for a moronic and enjoyable watch regardless. You know the score, an all-star cast finds itself in a chaotic series of events getting worse and worse as the nights wears on, so while there really isn’t all that much to the film to rave about when it comes to originality or intrigue, it does work on a base level as an enjoyable and pleasantly frantic comedy.
First off, looking at the humour, this isn’t the funniest Hollywood comedy we’ve seen in recent years, but the very fact that it is so chock-full of jokes and gags throughout means that it’s an undeniably energetic watch from beginning to end. Unfortunately, it relies a little too much on the ‘shock value’ of a group of office employees becoming embroiled in utter chaos, and as such a lot of the jokes following that line really fail to land, however there’s so much else being fired at you throughout that it’s difficult not to find something to laugh at.
As a result, the movie has enough pace and energy throughout to prove fairly enjoyable. It’s by no means a great comedy, and a lot of the jokes don’t land particularly well, but there’s enough in the way of simple, easy-going humour that’s both familiar and equally entertaining watch.
Another plus comes in the form of the film’s performances. With a massive ensemble cast filled with comedy A-listers whichever way you look, the actors do a great job at giving the film a good energy and charisma that it would have been otherwise likely lacking in. Jason Bateman and T.J. Miller are great fun together, Olivia Munn puts in by far her best big screen role, and Jennifer Aniston is absolute dynamite once again in a role reminiscent of her turn in Horrible Bosses.
Meanwhile, all manner of supporting cast members playing every quirky character in the comedy spectrum add some extra entertaining life to the movie, and even though it’s all in the form of the sort of movie you’ve definitely seen before, there’s easily enough comedic talent on display to keep you entertained throughout.
The film’s biggest weak point is, rather unsurprisingly, its story. While other chaotic late-night comedies like Date Night and Game Night have done brilliantly to combine easy-going slapstick with genuinely exciting action and storytelling, Office Christmas Party fails to do the same, starting off in pleasant fashion as a silly bit of comedic fun, but ultimately descending into a bit of a mess that’s more focused on getting the characters into beyond-ridiculous situations that actually tying it in with the film’s comedic vibes.
Overall, then, I had a fun time with Office Christmas Party. It’s nothing particularly special, and you’ve certainly seen it before, however with enough good jokes and comedic talent on display, the movie proves pleasantly entertaining and easy-going throughout, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.0.