Monday, 5 December 2016


Starring Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Jennifer Aniston, T.J. Miller,  kate McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance, Jillian Bell, Vanessa Baye, Rob Corddry, Sam Richardson, Randall Park Jamie Chung, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Karan Soni, Matt Walsh, Oliver Cooper, Adrian Martinez, Andrew Leeds, Da'Vine Joy Randolph and Fortune Feimster. Written by  Justin Malen, Laura Solon and Dan Mazer, based on a story by Jon Lucas, Scott Moore and Christopher Dowling. Directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon. Running time 105 minutes long. Cert 15.

The words 'all-star cast' used to mean something, it was a sign of greatness, think Towering Inferno, Earthquake or even When Time Ran Out, although those were all disaster movies, which is ironic cos this too is a disaster, but for utterly different reasons.

T.J Miller is the hopless CEO of a failing tech company, Jason Bateman is his loyal right hand man, Olivia Munn is the woman he's secretly in love with and Jennifer Aniston is Miller's sister who's just closed down the office. In an act of defiance and in the hope of securing a 14 million dollar buisness deal, Miller throws the most outrageous Christmas party of his life in open defiance of his ruthless sister. After that it's a less than hilarious gentle saunter through a series of mildly linked skits and situations strung together in the vain hope no one will notice there's no plot or story.

Far less funnier than the trailer and considerably less funny than it should be, this is a film that from the very title should be as outrageous and outlandish as is humanly possible. Sadly this isn't, it's a gentle, sweet natured little movie with a heart-warming centre and a happy journey of redemption that sees two of the characters overcome their decades old animosity and become best pals by the end of it. Not only that but the company is saved by a technological Macguffin that stretches credulity.

Sure I laughed, as will you, but it was only occasionally and that's not enough. If it wanted to be considered to be a Christmas movie then it needs to be warmer and have more Christmas spirit. However, if it wanted to be remembered as this generation's Animal House, as a raunchy, bawdy comedy then it's not rude enough, outrageous enough or simply funny enough. In a nutshell, it just needs to be better.


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