Friday, December 9, 2016 marks the official theatrical release of Office Christmas Party, the new adult holiday comedy from directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (the duo behind 2007’s Blades of Glory). Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the early press screening December 6. 2016 courtesy of Paramount Pictures, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.
Due to a review embargo, this review, originally written following the screening, was not published until today. But enough of the legal/technical stuff… let’s get right to the real question – how did it measure up? Read on to see for yourselves!
Office Christmas Party tells the story through the point of view of Josh Parker (played by Jason Bateman of Arrested Development and Juno), the Chief Technical Officer of computer company Zenotek. The Chicago, IL branch of the company is run – rather poorly – by Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller of Deadpool and Silicon Valley) the party boy, screw-up son of the company’s late founder. With Christmas approaching, and profits dwindling, Zenotek C.E.O. and Clay’s overachieving, all-business sister Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston of Friends, The Good Girl, and We’re the Millers) comes in to clean house.
With the looming threat of closing the branch, causing nearly all of the Chicago branch employees to lose their jobs during the holidays, the team of Clay and Josh, alongside lead programmer Tracey (Olivia Munn of X-Men: Apocalypse, Attack of the Show) and HR department head Mary Winetoss (Kate McKinnon of Ghostbusters, SNL), scheme to land a potential multi-million dollar client, whom they’ve been unsuccessfully for months, by throwing an epic office Christmas party.
From there, the real reason nearly everyone will go see this movie begins. The office building is transformed into a huge, booze-soaked, no-holds-barred, insanity-packed holiday bash, complete with everything you’d expect from a wild college party… and a whole lot more, way past the border of ridiculous. How will the biggest party the corporate world has ever seen go down? Will it help land the client that will save the branch and everyone’s jobs? Will any of it actually make a lot of sense? All of these questions will be answered, but in the interest of staying spoiler-free, you’ll just have to go see it for yourselves to get those answers!
From a technical standpoint, there’s not really anything spectacular here… well, apart from the party itself. It’s a pretty run-of-the-mill Hollywood production that doesn’t particualrly shine in any department, but also doesn’t underperform, either. The star-studded cast (including several big names scattered throughout the staff that I didn’t mention in this review) all do fine jobs with their roles, and play their characters as well as one could hope for in such a film. Bateman, Miller, Munn, McKinnon, and Aniston all fill specific niches nicely and all manage to shine in their own ways while playing off each other very well. The jokes, gags, and comedy in general are all pretty well done, and will most certainly bring the laughs several times, and leave audiences happy, so long as said audiences don’t really expect anything more than that.
The Bottom Line:
Overall, Office Christmas Party is basically the cinematic equivilent of a Jello shot. It’s silly, nonsensical, kind of ridiculous, and extremely juvenile yet entirely meant for adult consumption, despite this. It never once take itself too seriously, never once tries to be anything more than exactly what it is, and that’s perfectly okay. At the end of the day, it’s just a fun little party movie that’s not at all likely to claim any sort of spot on the list of legendary Christmas movies, but also well worth going to see for a good laugh during the most wonderful time of the year. – 6.0/10
Editor/Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine