Observing the extended edition of Office Christmas Party feels much like attending a raucous drunken frat party. There are moments of fun, things get ridiculously out of hand, and you most likely will not remember most of it in the morning.
Arriving on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD combo pack today courtesy of Paramount Home Media Distribution, the film plays like the Animal House of Christmas movies, but never reaches the heights of the party films that inspired it. This is not for lack of trying though, as there are plenty of one-liners, many of which were improvised, to go around. The plot revolves around the Chicago branch of a tech company named Zenotek whose ruthless interim CEO Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) is threatening to layoff forty percent of the staff as Christmas approaches. On top of that, she has cut bonuses and cancelled the annual holiday party.
These actions do not sit well with Vanstone’s brother Clay (T.J. Miller), who is the branch manager, and his loyal Chief Technical Officer Josh Parker (Jason Batman). Wanting to uphold his father’s legacy and traditions, Clay only has a few hours to convince his sister that both the branch and its employees are worth saving. Needing to land a big client, Clay enlists Josh and Tracey Hughes (Olivia Munn), the head of tech, to woo financial giant Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance). Ignoring orders, Clay and his staff decide to throw the most extravagant party in company history to show Walter that a company that can let loose together can succeed together.
The all-star comedic cast, which also includes Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park and scene-stealers Kate McKinnon and Jillian Bell, does their best to bring chuckles to the mildly raunchy proceedings. Unfortunately the silly, and at times overstuffed, plot frequently undermines the comedic beats. Once Carol discovers that the party is still on, the film begins to overstay its welcome.
Aside from the theatrical and extended versions of the film, the Blu-ray comes stuffed with bonus content. The lengthy selections of outtakes and the Throwing an Office Christmas Party featurette do a decent do a decent job of conveying the fun that the cast had making the film. Office Christmas Party does not be reach the ranks of holiday classics, or even make the memorable list of party flicks, but those looking for a few mindless laughs could do a lot worse.
Commentary by directors Josh Gordon & Will Speck
Throwing on Office Christmas Party
Throwing and Office Party
Deleted & Extended Scenes