HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Office Christmas Party Yule Be Sorry
Year: 2016
Director: Josh Gordon, Will Speck
Stars: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson, Karan Soni, Jamie Chung, Abbey Lee, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Andrew Leeds, Oliver Cooper
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Josh Parker (Jason Bateman) has had the best Christmas present ever - he's just been divorced! Well, technically it's not really Christmas, but it will be soon, and as he leaves the office of his lawyer (where they are holding a morning party to ensure nobody gets drunk and therefore sued) he tries to feel upbeat about the holiday season. The trouble is, at his own place of work there is a threat hanging over them because their branch of this technology company has not been as productive as head office would like them to be, and the rumour is even the office party is in question to save money. The boss, Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller), tries to be everyone's friend, but his sister, the CEO Carol (Jennifer Aniston), has no time for politeness or indulgence. Could Christmas be cancelled?

Making a Christmas movie should be easy, as the threshold for entertainment is lowered considerably when it's Yuletide: how often have you watched a festive flick well aware it's not terribly good, but in the hope that it'll get you in some low level of mood? Or just because it's the holidays and you might as well sit there on the couch and watch this this until it's finished, you know it's a cheap TV movie they've just put Christmas references in to guarantee some airplay at the season to be jolly, but dammit, you will see this to the happy ending since you don't have anything else useful to do right now? It's a different matter making one of these that is actually not bad, or even great.

Office Christmas Party was not great, and it was largely ignored when it was released in cinemas at Christmas 2016, mostly because Rogue One had packed out the auditoriums and this did not seem to be a must-see by any means. It quickly became a target for the bah humbug brigade who saw nothing but a cynical cash-in on getting some of that Noel money (is that a phrase?), and the fact that it was in cheerful bad taste was another minus: not only commercial, but crassly commercial into the dubious bargain. However, then something unexpected happened: there was a revolt against the naysayers, not a major one, but enough to consider it worth a look for those who paused over it.

In truth, while this was no classic overlooked unfairly, it had a lot more laughs than you might have anticipated if you simply went with its efforts to drag humour out of Christmas dejection. This was under no impression that the enforced fun of a party at that time of year was anything but a tyranny on those who didn't feel like it by those determined to feel good, and taking that as its jumping off point, that you may be at a party now but come January you have to face up to the fact it's business as usual and that job you have is a bit shit, in truth, provided a surprisingly sympathetic note to base the comedy on. There were no real villains here, not even Carol, just the corporate atmosphere that is proving so toxic to so many workers that the chance to let their hair down in at the end of December doesn't quite cut it.

Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck assembled, if not an A-list cast, then a group of dependable talents who you may recognise from elsewhere, you may not, but were all on the same page as far as generating the chuckles went, we knew where we were with this lot and by and large they did not disappoint. Miller was his patented manchild, trying to gee everyone up as the impending loss of their incomes loomed, Bateman was the straightman to all the antics, and Olivia Munn was the sensible one you knew would be romantically interested in him before the end credits rolled; she played his colleague who has invented a science fictional method of creating wi-fi from ordinary electrical objects (plot foreshadowing!). Courtney B. Vance was the man who could potentially rescue the office with a business deal, so this party has to be the best evah; the fact it ends up as an apocalyptic bacchanalia was to be expected, and if there was a lot obvious here, they managed to pull some pretty funny lines and situations out of the (Santa) hat. Maybe not a classic, but a cult favourite for those who appreciated the effort everyone showed was on the (Christmas) cards. Music by Theodore Shapiro.

[Entertainment One's Blu-ray has a making of and deleted scenes as extras.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3194 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: