Stars – Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Kate McKinnon, and Jennifer Aniston
Directors – Josh Gordon & Will Speck
Released by Paramount
Reviewed by Steven Ruskin
Sometimes stupid just hits the spot. Office Christmas Party has a ridiculous premise. A brother and sister own a big tech firm they inherited from their dad. The wacky party loving brother T.J. Miller has run it into the ground. Jennifer Aniston is the bitch on wheels of a sister who has come to town to close the place down and fire everyone. Unless Jason Bateman and T.J. Miller can land the big new client worth millions. The client meeting goes bad but they learn that the prospect Courtney Vance likes to party and misses the old days when he used to. So Miller decides to risk everything and throw a party to end all parties in the hopes of showing this guy enough of a good time that he signs on the line. We are introduced to the decidedly non PC cross section of people who work and play there. The whole staff loosens up and lets their collective hair down. They destroy the entire office in the process.
One of the best things Office Christmas Party has going for it is the casting. There are many recognizable to semi recognizable faces that pop up. Kate McKinnon who has been such a big hit on Saturday Night Live lately with her impressions of Hillary Clinton and Kellyanne Conway is spot on as the stuck up head of HR. She has fun with her character’s efforts to make sure everything is safe and fair to people from every conceivable background, race and religion. Naturally there comes a time when she lets go and gets it on. Nicely played. Another surprise is Fortune Feimster from The Mindy Project who turns up as a first time Uber driver who has to pick up Jennifer Aniston. She hits only one note but hits it perfectly. Feimster is funny in her few scenes which are wisely kept to a minimum. Jillian Bell obviously has a good time playing a pistol packing, out of control, and pissed off lady pimp. While Bateman and Munn try to hang on to the threads of a plot line everyone else plays it way over the top.
Toward the end the prospective client who has inhaled a bag of cocaine that was mistakenly fed into an artificial snow blower climbs out on the second story railing. He grabs a handful of Christmas light strands and prepares to sail out over the party like Jackie Chan did in his killer stunt at the mall in Police Story. The film has some predictably excessive stunts that jeopardize everything. But just like in a cartoon all’s well that end’s well. Is the moral that when things look their worst a huge party couldn’t hurt? This was more enjoyable than I had expected. Give your intellect a night off and enjoy this trashy over the top mess.
Video – 2.35:1
Everything is very clear and nicely detailed. The whole film has a nice brightness about it that looks like a TV sitcom, as it should.
Audio – DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 in English with Dolby digital 5.1 in French, Spanish, and Portuguese with subtitles offered in English, English SDH, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
All dialogue is clear, There are some loud booms heard on the track as things begin to destruct in the office.
Extras – Unrated Version of the film, Commentary by directors Josh Gordon & Will Speck, Throwing an Office Christmas Party, Outtakes, Deleted & Extended Scenes
The unrated version that did not play in theaters, hence not being rated features five more minutes of debauchery and hijinks.
On a scale of Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent, Classic :
Blu-Ray – Excellent
Movie – Good if you are in the mood for this sort of thing