Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Office Space (1999) review


     Comedic icon, Mike Judge, makes his directorial debut in Office Space, a workplace satire as true and razor-sharp as his previous animated projects. The movie, though full of great performances and an attention-catching plot, falls at times with Judge's typical hit-and-miss jokes and an overall feeling of underachievement. So much more could have been done with what the audience was provided with.

PLOT: Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) lives a fairly normal life working in an office in the city. Every day has grown to seem the same to Peter, even with the constant reprimands his many bosses give him. One day after being hypnotized by a psychiatrist, Peter has a revelation and realizes that he no longer wants work to rule his life. Peter begins to miss days of work and barely work at all while on the job, but they don't fire him. In fact, in an employee evaluation, they promote him as to "provide him an incentive." Peter doesn't mind this at first until he finds out the big bosses will be laying off his two friends, non-singer Michael Bolton (David Herman) and foreign Samir Nagheenanajar (Ajay Naidu). In rebellion towards the company, the three come up with a clever scheme to unknowingly steal money from company funds. However, things go wrong and the team must figure out how to cover up their tracks. The plot idea is very clever and executed in a sharp and clean-cut way. Everything is done in a smooth and smart way. However, as far as the humor goes, the jokes are hit-and-miss. Director Mike Judge does what he has done in his previous animated shows (Beavis and Butt-Head, King of the Hill), which is making sly satirical jokes that don't always work. The movie, nevertheless, is still an intelligent comedy with some extremely memorable quotes and characters.

ACTING: The performances in this movie were actually really great. Some of the characters portrayed engrave their infamous lines and personalities on the audience in such a memorable way. Rob Livingson, Gary Cole (Lumbergh, Peter's boss), and Stephen Root (Milton, the stapler guy) all play their consecutive roles in an extremely unique, memorable, and funny way. Aside from these poster faces, the rest of the cast did great as well. Jennifer Aniston (Joanna, Peter's girlfriend), Diedrich Bader (Lawrence, Peter's neighbor), and John C. McGinly (Bob Slydell, one of the company's big bosses) also all played stand-out roles in which each's dialogue and characters shine.

SCORE: The soundtrack is mainly made up of rap songs from around the time period, such as "Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta" and "Still" from the Geto Boys as well as other hits from rappers like Ice Cube and Scarface. If one doesn't like rap, the soundtrack won't intrigue that person. However, the soundtrack does have an effect on the movie, making every major scene more ironically hilarious.

OTHER CONTENT: Office Space makes itself known as an intelligent and amazingly memorable, but suffers from both its hit-and-miss humor and the overall feeling that everything starts to rush. After the basic plot and conflict are set up, the action just seems to fall too fast. It takes half the movie to set up the plot and conflict, so the movie overall feels short and underdone or like more could have been done with it. It almost feels like the writers ran out of ideas midway through the movie and just rushed to end it. The movie is still a classic, memorable comedy, but definitely not short of problematic.

     Mike Judge delivers to the audience another sharp comedy with hit-and-miss humor, but in an iconic movie form rather than in another animated series. Office Space is very smart and memorable addition to the list of most-quoted comedies. The movie is very good. However,if  it didn't feel so underdone and laden with the typical hit-and-miss humor, that'd be great.

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