I can’t say that I’ve ever been to an office Christmas party before, like the one depicted in this mediocre and barely humorous movie, but if the dull storylines and tired clichés are any indication, I think I’ll skip it altogether and watch a movie instead… and one that really makes me laugh, like Scrooged!
We begin with Jason Bateman as Josh Parker, the recently divorced tech officer of Zenoteck, a cyber data company that’s deep in trouble. Why? Well, the laid-back boss, Clay VanStone (T. J. Miller), runs the company more like a best friend than a boss and his heartless über-bitch sister (and the company CEO) Carol (Jennifer Aniston) is threatening to close the company unless it produces major $$$… in just two days.
Luckily, there’s brilliant techno-geek Tracey Hughes (yummy Olivia Munn) who’s about to crack a breakthrough in internet communication: wireless cellphone connection without Wi-Fi! BUT, they’ll desperately need the backing of big-shot Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance) and his $14 million contract to save Zenotek first. What to do? How about invite him to their office party that Carol has forbade them to throw!? AND make it an Animal House-style party with loud music, gallons of liquor, naked people, debauchery galore, animals, lost children, drugs, and Walter getting a face-full of cocaine shot at him through a fake snow-thrower!
Die Hard (1988)
It’s Christmas time, you’re at an office party, and all hell’s about to break loose be
In one of the very best action/Christmas-time movies ever made, Bruce Willis, hot off his Moonlighting TV gig, made this his signature role with this profanity-laced, explosion-filled, blood-soaked yarn about a vacationing NYC cop who’s visiting his estranged wife at her office party in L.A. It’s Christmas Eve and Hans Gruber (played with delicious relish by the late, great Alan Rickman) is the leader of the bad guys, bent on stealing $640 million in bearer bonds from Nakatomi executive Joseph Takagi (James Shigeta). Naturally, his plans go sideways when McClane (Willis) the cop decides to be the fly in Gruber’s ointment.
McClane’s long-suffering wife, Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) tries to play it cool and pretend that McClane isn’t her ex-husband, but too late! McClane is on the job, making sure that while Hans’ boys are busy trying to crack the downstairs safe to get to the bonds, he’s messing up their plans by killing off Gruber’s men one-by-one… and blowing things up in the process. This arouses the local LAPD, (Reginald VelJohnson as Sgt. Powell) and the over-the-top looney antics of the FBI. This also brings out the woodwork an over-zealous TV reporter (William Atherton) and a uncaring police chief (Paul Gleason) to make things worse.
There’s more explosions (thanks to McClane), more killing (thanks to Hans), and non-stop action that leads up to the thrilling conclusion and showdown between Hans and McClane. Checkout Rickman’s face as he falls from the bldg. That wasn’t acting; they didn’t tell him when they were going to drop him to get his honest reaction! Many actors turned down the roll of McClane before Willis: Stallone, Eastwood, Harrison Ford, Schwarzenegger, and even Frank Sinatra!
With a brilliant script by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. DeSouza and gloriously directed by John McTiernan, this blockbuster movie made a gazillion dollars at the box office and spawned four sequels, of which only three were any good. And McClane’s, “Yippe-ki-yay, mother-f–cker”, is now part of the American catch-phrase lexicon.