T.J. Miller and Jason Bateman star in the dull Office Christmas Party.

Reel Reviews: Talent wasted on this party

Rude, crude and most often sexually oriented, we’ve all seen The Office Christmas Party before.

  • Dec. 16, 2016 12:00 p.m.

The Chicago branch of a tech company is under performing with Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller) at the helm, forcing his sister, the newly appointed CEO Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) to take action.

To save his job, Mr. Vanstone decides to impress a valuable potential client by throwing an epic office Christmas party, but things get out of hand.

We say, “Rude, crude and most often sexually oriented, we’ve all seen this movie before.”

TAYLOR: What was the name of the movie we reviewed last year that was about three business men who throw a potential client a crazy European party in order to impress him?

HOWE: Unfinished Business; the one with Vince Vaughn.

I did find Office Christmas Party started out strong, especially with Jason Bateman leading the way. But after about the 15 minute mark, it starts to deteriorate into a cross between Hangover 3 and Jackass.

Now some may say that is a good thing, but I disagree. I just feel with this calibre of actors, it should have been better and a little more classy.

TAYLOR: I don’t expect much from TV actors. I’m not knocking them. I’m a fan of Saturday Night Live and especially of Kate McKinnon, but in comedy, audiences must often enjoy a comedian’s schtick in order to enjoy the joke.

Comedic movies, particularly the formulaic style of the party-out-of-hand film, are hit and miss. This film is probably a miss. I didn’t find it particularly funny.

HOWE: I think the problem is that everyone in this is talented, and in theory it should be a good, funny movie. Yet, it isn’t.

I found that each actor, rather than working together for the greater good, was trying to one up one other.

To give you a few examples: you have Bateman as the cheesy nice boss who tries to be cool; McKinnon as the human resources manager who has a flatulence problem; and Aniston, who is meant to be the tough CEO because she swears and gives the finger to everyone. I found it more sad than funny because of the waste of talent.

Bad Santa 2, anyone?

TAYLOR: You know your pickings are slim when…

– Taylor gives Office Christmas Party 1.5 swings from the chandelier out of 5.

– Howe gives it 2 toilet drinking reindeer out of 5.

Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon, whose column Reel Reviews appears in The Morning Star every Friday.

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