15 – 105mins – 2016
PARTY LIKE IT’S 19:00
The night before last I donned my free Coca Cola Santa hat and got into the Christmas spirit for a Cineworld Unlimited Preview Screening of a raucous new ensemble comedy from the directorial duo behind Blades of Glory and The Switch, Will Speck and Josh Gordon. Not officially released in the UK until today (December 7th), Office Christmas Party certainly puts the “high” in Ding, Dong Merrily…
Channelling her Horrible Bosses inner bitch as spiky, super serious CEO Carol, Mother’s Day star Jennifer Aniston threatens to close the branch of digital company Zenotek inherited by her party loving joker of a brother, Clay (T.J. Miller). Going against Carol’s strict objections, Clay rallies his recently divorced Chief Technical Officer (Jason Bateman) and internet queen (Olivia Ride Along 2 Munn) into going all out on an extravagant knees up at the company’s double-floor office in order to impress a potential client (Courtney B. Vance) and secure a business partnership that would save everyone’s job.
With dance floor heroics, cheeky photocopier hi-jinks, inter-departmental debauchery, vending machines raining down on the street below, snow machines accidentally precipitating other kinds of white powder and painful injuries galore, this boozy belter of a comedy is a whole heap of festive fun, even if it’s hardly anything new or ground-breaking (see The Night Before, The Hangover or 21 & Over… for adults who should know better).
Amusement very quickly boils over into tipsy trouble and things do threaten to get a tad sleazy, particularly when an escort (Abbey Lee Kershaw) and her gun toting pimp (Jillian Bell) move the action away from the main building. However, the amiable A-list ensemble pull this Office Christmas Party through any lulls. Kate McKinnon as the uptight head of HR is a delight, winning me over after I was on the fence about her comedic stylings in Ghostbusters ’16, while a mouthy Uber driver steals the show with her hysterical tangential rants.
CR@B’s Claw Score: