Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sean Kelly

Review: Office Christmas Party

The heads of a troubled branch of a technology company hold an epic Christmas party in a desperate effort to sign a client in Office Christmas Party. Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller) is the manger of the Chicago branch of his late father's company Zenotek, which he runs along with Chief Technical Officer Josh Parker (Jason Bateman), head of tech Tracey Hughes (Olivia Munn), and HR rep Mary (Kate McKinnon). However, Clay's sister and CEO Carol (Jennifer Aniston) is disappointed by the lack of profits at the branch and is prepared to fire a quarter of the staff. However, Clay convinces Carol to give him to the end of the day to hire prospective client Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance). When the first meeting with Walter doesn't go so well, Clay decides to go against Carol's wishes and hold an epic Christmas party to impress the prospective client.

Office Christmas Party is a film in which the title aptly describes everything that you would need to know about the plot. At the centre of the plot is the bitter sibling rivalry between Clay and Carol Vanstone. Carol resents the favoritism her father showed Clay, who she views as a freeloading loser. With the branch in danger of receiving major staff cuts, Clay becomes desperate to sign financial giant Walter Davis and decides that the best way to impress him to to hold a Christmas party like his dad used to do. However, it isn't long before the party gets way out of control.

Office Christmas Party is most definitely a film that you'll need to check your brain at the door to watch. The film is indeed very dumb and crude and your enjoyment of the film will likely depend on how lowbrow you like your humour, with the film featuring gags such as 3D printing a certain part of the male anatomy. It can be argued that film goes a little too far at times, with the antics shown in the film being things that can only happen in the movies.

As for the cast of the film, Jason Bateman's Josh Parker plays the straight man to T.J. Miller's Clay Vanstone, with Josh trying to maintain some sort of order during the chaos of the party. There is also sexual tension between Josh and his co-worker Tracey, with Josh being afraid to make a move after his recent divorce. Rising comedy star Kate McKinnon (Ghostbusters) practically steals the film as uptight HR rep Mary, who slowly reveals that she has a wild side. The film also has a lot of familiar comedy faces in the supporting cast, including Rob Corddry (Hot Tub Time Machine), Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street), and Vanessa Bayer (Saturday Night Live).

The biggest test of a comedy is whether it can make you laugh and I will say that I did indeed laugh quite a bit during Office Christmas Party. However, I will also concede that the humour of the film is very lowbrow and it's not really something that's an absolute must see.

7 / 10 stars
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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).