Some movies are just a big set-up to show a wild and over-the-top party.  These are usually teen movies, but in Office Christmas Party an adult and quite good cast work through a pretty mundane plot.

Josh Parker (Jason Bateman) is the Chief Technical Officer for the Chicago branch of tech company Zenotek.  He's the nice, even-tempered guy who keeps everyone working together.  He's also the buddy of Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller), the easy-going branch manager who loves to party and support his employees.  But Clay's serious sister and interim CEO Carol (Jennifer Aniston) wants to get rid of employees' bonuses, cut the staff by 40 percent, and cancel the office Christmas party.  The only way to avoid all that is if Josh and Clay get the business of Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance) while Carol heads out of town for her vacation.
The pitch to Walter goes poorly, until Clay invites Walter to a wild office Christmas party.  In no time at all, the office is filled with lights and alcohol, live reindeer, someone dressed as Jesus, and Walter going crazy after blasted in the face with cocaine.  There are a few other storylines: Josh's possible romance with programmer Tracey (Olivia Munn); uptight H.R. head Mary (Kate McKinnon) putting a damper on things and feuding with wild guy Jeremy (Rob Corddry); and nerdy Nate (Karan Sori) hiring prostitute Savannah (Abbey Lee Kershaw) to be his pretend girlfriend -- and then dealing with both her and her gun-toting pimp Trina (Jillian Bell).  The party gets more and more insane, everyone gets crazier and crazier, and of course Carol's flight is canceled and she winds up back at the office...
It's almost impressive that Office Christmas Party manages to be so mediocre with such a good cast.  The actors are all fine in their roles, but the story is completely predictable and there aren't that many laughs through the movie.  Office Christmas Party is a very slight film that's easily forgotten.

Overall grade: C
Reviewed by James Lynch

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