OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY

Cocaine is coming to town! Josh Gordon and Will Speck’s last hit will most certainly please both the good and the naughty this Christmas season.

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Courtney B. Vance and T. J. Miller as Walter Davis and Clay Vanstone

As the holiday season beds in, it’s worth looking at what makes for blockbuster bait and ‘Office Christmas Party’ is certainly not disappointing. Hard though it must be to make “the ultimate Christmas comedy,” this feature manages the unlikely feat of being wildly entertaining while not feeling repetitive. To credit: the artful script and the killer cast.

Set in a 2016, very cold Chicago, ‘Office Christmas Party’ begins with Carol Vanstone’s (Aniston) threat to close the office branch that their late father – tech company Zinotek founder – left to his brother Clay (T. J. Miller), unless he reaches an impossibly high term growth. The only choice he and his colleagues (Olivia Munn and Jason Bateman) come up with is to get heavy-hitter exec Walter Davis (Vance) to associate with their company without Carol being aware. And what better way to make deals than to throw the party of the decadeSome prostitutes, messed up ice sculptures and hilarious dance moves served by Kate McKinnon’s uptight head of H.R. later, Davis accidentally aspires cocaine from a snow canyon and gets so high that he jumps from the first floor to the lobby and nearly dies. Just in time for Carol to witness, the bossy entrepreneur throws a tantrum à la Geller at Clay who finds in drinking the only way out to some muggers’ delight until his team rescues him.

Tracing the steps to become the most watched Christmas comedy in recent years, ‘Office Christmas Party’ makes for popcorn enjoyment and certainly lives up to the mostly rave reviews in my hopeless comedy buff opinion. Bateman and Aniston’s fifth collaboration further establishes them as the Prom King and Queen, Munn and Miller show how down pat they have their comedy chops, and comedy goddess Kate McKinnon (Al Roker’s words) has since garnered her first lead role in another comedy. The rad soundtrack comes and goes at the perfect moments and the script is quite jaw-dropping. For all this, I’d highly recommend this film both to teens and adults, and I’m sure it will be enjoyed by many generations to coal – come, that is.

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McKinnon, Bateman, Miller and Munn as Zinotek’s employees

Running time: 1h 45 minutes.

Country: United States.

Box office: $114.5M

Release date: December 9, 2016.

Grade: B+

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