Office Christmas Party. No synopsis required.
Except, the film presents itself as if there needs to be a thorough plot for this raucous party comedy. A struggling tech company faces layoffs due to sibling rivalry, the newly divorced CTO (Jason Bateman) is…yadda yadda yadda.
Office Christmas Party is slow to get started. The premise and characters are not interesting enough to warrant the 20 minutes of buildup to the titular event. The funniest characters in the film are minor ones who get introduced quickly and efficiently.
This is largely how the film works. Discrete bits and jokes throughout are effective, but the overarching narrative serves little to amplify the comedy of the film.
Randall Park, Vanessa Bayer, Rob Corddry, and Karan Soni all play minor characters that do the majority of the comedic work in the film. T.J. Miller and Kate McKinnon are two leads that also do a fairly good job given their charisma. But Bateman, Olivia Munn, and Jennifer Aniston do little for the film, despite the fact that they represent the lead characters.
Office Christmas Party is a monotonous drudge through a premise with no narrative legs. The few worthwhile comedic set pieces and characters are overshadowed by downright boring ones. The focus of the film is a hindrance, to the point where one questions why they RSVPed to the party in the first place.
Office Christmas Party: D+
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)