When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand.
This is a studio comedy on auto-pilot, a movie that lets its title do the vast majority of the heavy lifting.
With all the sharp comic timing on hand, this party should feel lighter, swifter, more agile.
A busy but witless and stale comedy that rehashes every raunchy gag we expect from R-rated comedies, it also wears its hackneyed sentimentality and cookie-cutter underdog story beats as proudly as adhesive nametags.
The movie wants to channel the anarchic spirit of National Lampoon productions and movies like "Bachelor Party," where a donkey dies in the elevator, and it succeeds to a degree.
For a movie that was advertised as the wildest bash of the year, "Office Christmas Party" has a few too many plotlines and not enough actual debauchery.
It benefits from an excellent cast, who seem to be all in. And whenever there s a stretch of extended mediocrity, it s almost always saved by an unexpected moment of politically incorrect inspiration.
Office isn t nearly as nihilistic as its veneer; beneath all the criminal mischief and baby-Jesus jokes there s still heart of gold, or at least a big ball of tinsel.
"Office Christmas Party" is one of those movies that rounds up a terrific cast and then leaves them stranded with nothing to do - like, well, maybe some people at your office.
This is a "bawdy" big-screen comedy any nervous HR representative could rubber stamp. In its own R-rated way, it s safe for work.
In a film that sporadically attempts to progressively satirize PC workplace culture, the sour smell of misogyny pervades the mulled-wine aroma.