“Party like your job depends on it in the UNRATED comedy event of the year – with outrageous new footage not shown in theaters! When an overbearing CEO (Jennifer Aniston) decides to close her hard-partying brother’s failing branch, he (T.J. Miller) and his fired up co-workers (Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Kate McKinnon) decide to throw an epic office party to land a big shot client (Courtney B. Vance) and save everyone’s job. Fueled by booze and bad decisions, things quickly spiral out of control in this wild and raunchy comedy. Get ready to work hard and party harder!”
Thanks to the success of films such as The Hangover, comedies featuring crazy parties and drunken antics are on the rise. Although they can be entertaining to a degree, they are definitely targeting a younger audience, or perhaps an older audience who wishes they could let loose after a long week sitting in their cubicle. Entertaining as these antics can be, the film is sure to fail without a solid story backing it up, and Office Christmas Party comes close to hitting those marks.
T.J. Miller’s character has a good heart, and instead of being the typical boss only interested in quarterly earnings, he makes sure his work environment is filled with positive energy and makes it a fun place to work. He goes as far as using his own money to buy things for the office or his employees. In his dedication to creating a fun work environment, sales have slipped, and thanks in part to an increased expectation for earnings, his company is in danger of being shut down by his sister who is CEO.
In a Hail Mary play, he promises to sign a large company in the meeting they have planned that evening with the help of his co-workers played by Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn. Unfortunately, they don’t get the results they expected, so in a last ditch effort they invite him to their Christmas party in hopes to change his mind when he sees how much like a family everyone treats each other.
This is the heart of the story: everyone keeping their jobs. During the course of the night, however, you see just how messed up these people can be, and you are left wondering why you should even care. The child-like innocence of T.J. Miller’s character and his motivation isn’t enough to drive the heart of the film by itself. Thankfully, Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn have great chemistry on screen and their potential relationship helps move the story forward in some rational manner. There were several smaller story-lines placed throughout the film, some stronger than others, but none of them seemed to really get off the ground and add much to the overall film.
In the comedy aspect of the film I was actually very surprised. Anyone familiar with the modern day comedic actors on film or television will probably recognize almost everyone, and they all are incredibly funny. Jason Bateman brings his typical dry sense of humor which he is known for, so nothing new there. However, the cast all play extremely well off of one another, even Jennifer Aniston, who has certainly been inducted into this group of heavy hitting group of comedians. The directors let the actors improvise quite a bit, as shown in some of the deleted scenes and end credits, and some of the best material comes from that. Although Office Christmas Party can be predictable from start to finish, what isn’t predictable is the amount of laughter you’ll enjoy. This light-hearted comedy which takes a disturbing turn is unexpected, and quite a nice surprise.
Office Christmas Party is presented in 1080p High Definition Widescreen 2.39:1. The transfer is free of defects, providing a consistent level of color throughout. Although quite neutral in tone, some of the outdoor scene are quite bright and look nice.
The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1. On this track, you’re mainly going to be hearing dialogue from the center channel. Where the surrounds are really utilized is with the soundtrack. Boasting a powerful score with several heavy bass songs, you’re residence will certainly sound like a club during many of the party scenes.
There are quite a few special features on this set, which are highly recommended, especially the Outtakes and Deleted Scenes. On this set you’re going to see:
- Unrated & Theatrical Versions
- Deleted & Extended Scenes Including Alternate Ending
- Throwing an Office Christmas Party Featurette
- Commentary by Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (Theatrical Version Only)
Office Christmas Party follows a simple formula and is fairly predictable, but delivers on quite a few laughs thanks to a seasoned comedic cast. A terrible first trailer for the film may have turned off quite a few movie-goers, but this is one to give a chance.