When I saw the trailer for Office Christmas Party last year I thought to myself, “Self, that movie looks good.” I mean I generally like Jason Bateman movies. Or TV shows. Or whatever. The man is a hell of an actor. He’s always been a hell of an actor since he was a kid. So I told myself I’d see this come Christmas time.

And then I didn’t. Why? I dunno. It came out near Christmas time (December 9th to be exact) and even though it only got decent reviews I just didn’t go. I didn’t see Bad Santa 2 either and when I watched it on home video I did not regret that decision one bit.

I really just stayed home during the Christmas season.  I watched my normal Christmas movies (Christmas Vacation, Die Hard, The Ref, etc). Months passed. And finally Office Christmas Party was released to digital last month and home video early this month. I bought it and then …sat on it. When I finally sat down to watch it I was actually quite surprised

Office Chrstimas Party is actually a very fun film with some amazing actors and ONE HELL of a Christmas party. I’m glad they made it R-rated.  I actually watched the Unrated Version which really had lots of cursing, boobs, and penises flying about.  I have no clue if that was in the R-rated movie or if they saved all of that great stuff for the unrated version.  Either way…there some scenes with a penis and a 3-D printer that was funny as hell.

Right away I liked that they actors in Office Christmas Party aren’t stereotypes. Nate (Karan Soni), the Indian guy, is just an Indian guy. No horrible accent. He’s just a guy in the office. Fred (Randall Park), an Asian guy, is just an Asian guy. No horrible accent. He’s also just a regular guy from the office. Well…maybe not “regular” because they gave him some his lines that cracked me the hell up.  The writers and/or director could have easily had these characters just playing the same ol’ stereotypes but I was just damn happy to see that they didn’t have to bring the comedy down to the lowest common denominator.

So T.J. Miller plays Clay – the head of the Zenotech Chicago office. His right hand man is Josh (Jason Bateman) – a smart man who just happens to be newly divorced. There’s some other great people under him including Tracey (Olivia Munn), the Chief of R&D, and Mary (Kate McKinnon) who runs Human Resources.

Clay’s sister Carol (Jennifer Aniston) is the interim CEO and she is basically wrecking shop. She’s closing branches of Zenotech, she’s laying off people, and she’s getting rid of the Christmas bonuses. She is all about corporate America and not caring about her employees. Clay cares about the people that work under him but Carol is still pissed off that their deceased father gave Clay the Chicago branch to run (it was “his branch” before he passed on). Even though she is CEO that is tons of animosity. Guess what she does last? She cancels the Christmas party along with threatening to shut down her brother’s branch as well.

A plan is launched to land a big fish named Walter (Courtney B. Vance) and the millions of dollars he would bring with him to the firm. Walter doesn’t really want to go with Zenotech especially after hearing about layoffs and branches closing. But Josh, Clay, and Tracey convince him to come to their office Christmas party and hope to hook him from there.

So guess what? The Christmas party is back on.

The party is pretty jamming at first. Nate had made up a fake girlfriend and then told his subordinates (who mock him for having a fake girlfriend) that she was showing up. So what does he do? Hire a prostitute of course! And who is the prostitute? Super hottie model Abbey Lee who I totally dug in The Neon Demon. She was pretty vicious and awesome in that movie and she’s super awesome in this too.

Pretty soon that jamming party is spinning pretty out-of-control which is awesome. More and more shit seems to happen at once and, once the group is able to land Walter as a client, shit goes completely out of control.

Shit gets real though when Carol’s flight to London gets cancelled and she goes back into Chicago. She finds out about the party and arrives to find the entire office near full chaos. She flips her shit of course…and even landing Walter doesn’t affect her decision to close the branch right then and there. The worst part? Clay is going to be the one to tell everyone and basically fire everyone.

What I really liked about this movie is that it was very hard to guess where it was going. You would think that with a movie called Office Christmas Party it would just be some lame plot that centers around that office party. Now while most of the film does center on the party some stuff happens near the end of the second act that causes shit to go even truly off the rails.

I’ll say it again – I really did enjoy this movie a lot. I think a big part of that is that R-rating where there really is no limit to when can be accomplished (except getting it passed the MPAA and trying to snag that R-rating). But this isn’t Bad Santa where it is just vulgar for the sake of being vulgar and isn’t stupid for the sake of being stupid. Now I don’t want to talk badly on Bad Santa because I love that movie but the sequel to that film is a perfect example of just being R-rated for the sake of being R-rated. Here in Office Christmas Party the comedy seems natural and especially as the party gets more and more out of control it is great to actually be able to see the worst of what happens. The point is it isn’t tame by any means.

The cast here is just unbelievable. I can pretty much watch Jason Bateman in anything. Seriously. Put the man in a chair and have him read The Bible for 24 hours straight and I’ll be right there hanging on his every word. Now his lone problem is that once again he is more-or-less playing the straight man. He seems to be the more responsible one out of the whole office crew and it would be great to see a character who gets to break out (like Bateman got to do in his film Bad Words) .

Olivia Munn. Oh man Olivia Munn. It’s not like she’s new to the scene and that she’s been around for a damn long time. When they cast her in X-Men Apocalypse I was damn happy. And then she was so, so, so, so wasted. Why cast her to just have her flip around and not say a damn word? So Psylocke could be serious? Screw that. So I was damn happy to see her in this play a smart computer gal. She’s a great choice to act opposite Jason Bateman. And she’s gorgeous. Damn gorgeous. Way amazingly gorgeous. Bateman is a damn lucky man to be able to canoodle with her in this film. She’s also a great actor too – I was really surprised at her ability.

I really like TJ Miller as an actor. Before Deadpool I was really unfamiliar with his work and it wasn’t until after that film that I really started to notice him. For instance he is in one of my favorite cute movies She’s Out Of My League and I never had any clue that Miller was in the film as Jay Baruchel’s friend. I did also get to see T.J. in a really fun movie that also starred Adam Pally titled Search Party where the duo have to go look for their missing friend in Mexico. Miller doesn’t play a jerk in Office Chritsman Party. He actually gets to play a nice guy who is trying to do the best for his branch. He cares about his people and that really comes forth in the movie.

Kate McKinnon has quickly become my favorite actress in Hollywood. She is the greatest talent to come out of SNL since Tina Fey…maybe even Will Ferrell. Any time I see her in anything a huge smile comes across my face. She was literally the best part of Ghostbusters and really has a big juicy role here as the Human Resources lady who is trying to have everyone follow the rules only to join in and really help them all out in the end. Her roles seem to be getting larger and larger and I’m fully convinced that it won’t be too long before she really reaches leading role status.

SNL’s Vanessa Bayer plays a sad sack single mom who has no friends outside of the office. She’s lonely and looking for love. Her experiences in the office make for some very hilarious moments. Her scene with Fred is just outstanding and may literally be the best part of the movie. I felt bad for Bayer and it really comes off that she is just trying to do her best to have friends when work takes up her entire life (besides her kids).

Rob Corddry continues to be typecasted as that loud mouth jerk off guy. I mean…good for you, Rob. You have your thing. But I really wish Rob could be the uptight nerdy guy for once and not the mouthy asshole in the dance-off.  He seems like he could be a great actor…someone just need to give him a chance.

Jillian Bell plays a pimp named Trina. Weird casting for Bell. But I can’t blame her for taking the role. Unlike Corddry who plays the same character over and over at least Bell doesn’t play someone at the party (what you would expect her to play) but a female pimp who definitely has her problems and may be a bit trigger happy. I like Bell as an actress and really dug her work on the Comedy Central show Workaholics. Amongst a killer cast including Blake Anderson, Anders Holm, and Adam Devine she not only holds her own there but can give it right back to the trio. I’m glad she got a chance to do something a little different in this movie. I’m not sure she came off as believable…but it’s a comedy so what the hell.

There’s many reunions in this movie that are really worth noting. The biggest is Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman coming together for something like their sixth film. That’s pretty amazing and the two do work really well together. I really dug the movie The Switch that they did a couple years back but I will also say that this movie really is my favorite out of all the films they’ve done. Until watching the behind-the-scenes I hadn’t realized that they actually had done SIX films. But some of the others that they’ve done do include not classics like The Break-Up,

THE BIG REUNION in my eyes is having both T.J. Miller and Karan Soni in the flick together. What did they appear in before? Why Deadpool of course – Miller as Deadpool’s friend and owner of the bar Weasel and Soni as Dopinder – the poor cabbie that had to drive Deadpool around and never get paid.

I really dig Soni. I really had only seen him before in this show Mighty Med that my kid watches but I was really sad that his character kind of disappears after being in the early episodes. He was really great in Deadpool. NOW – this movie also brings back Soni with Kate McKinnon who both featured together in Ghostbusters. McKinnon was hands down the best part of that movie and Soni had a small but memorable role playing Benny the delivery guy.

The cast is both impressive and effective.  When the film goes off the rails in the third act watching the adventures of all these characters we really got to know during the first and second act really makes what happens all the more fun.  Again it got a bit out there but I just thought it was great to see what these characters would do not just for their company but for each other.

My last office Christmas party was like death.  It really was.  We all just sat there after work drinking soda, eating some sandwiches, and looking at our watches so we could leave right at the party’s end.  It was nothing like this.  I’ve never ever been to anything like this.  But I’ll tell you what – Zenotech sure is a company that I would love to work for.  Having kickass coworkers like Jason Bateman and Olivia Munn are one thing but they really, really, really do know how to throw a party.  I’ll tell you one thing…at the end of my party the office did not look like the above picture.

RANK: A-