Like many actual office Christmas parties, it’s poorly organized, runs too long and isn’t as entertaining as it thinks it is. That’s fitting for a movie with a place-holder title and six credited writers (three for the story, three for the screenplay). The plot—the one it took three guys to come up with—is that the Chicago branch of a tech company will close unless they impress a particular client (Courtney B. Vance) with a rockin’ holiday party. Co-directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (The Switch, Blades of Glory) are in familiar territory, with Jason Bateman as the hapless, sardonic manager who works under an immature boss (T.J. Miller, reprising his Silicon Valley character), both of them cowed by the ball-breaking C.E.O. (Jennifer Aniston). The sharp cast (Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer, Rob Corddry, Jillian Bell, et al), most of them basically playing sketch characters, means there are sporadic laughs, but the employee subplots are pointless (one dork hires an escort to pose as his hot girlfriend), and the prolonged, unfunny climax strains credulity. Sloppy work all around. Better hope the boss doesn’t see.
Director: Josh Gordon and Will Speck
Producer: Guymon Casady, Daniel Rappaport, Scott Stuber, Beau Bauman, Josh Gordon, Matthew Hirsch, Will Speck and Richard Vane
Cast: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson, Karan Soni, Jamie Chung, Abbey Lee, Da'Vine Randolph, Andrew Leeds, Oliver Cooper, Chloe Wepper, Matt Walsh, Ben Falcone, Adrian Martinez, Fortune Feimster, Nick Peine, Erick Chavarria, Jimmy Butler and Michael Tourek