9/4/13

OFFICE SPACE - REVIEW


Directed by Mike Judge and based on his own short cartoon series Milton, Office Space pre-dated The Office by a couple of years and although it kinda flew by unnoticed upon its original release, it eventually earned a deserved cult status.

The film pokes fun at dull office settings and the ridiculous hierarchy and false urgency that these working environments can have while paying homage to Milton and telling its own Superman III-inspired plot. Ron Livingston plays a stressed-out guy who hates his life and just wishes he could simply sit back and do nothing. After a hypnotist mistakenly renders him perpetually laid-back and worry-free, he turns his life upside down and starts rebelling fully against the people that have been holding him back and his whole stagnant existence in general. He starts ignoring his boss, a show-stealing, mug-holding Gary Cole, he asks out Jennifer Aniston's waitress, and decides to jeopardise his tempting new job offer in order to help his soon-to-be-laid-off friends/colleagues by setting up a scam which would involve collecting every leftover change the company usually rounds up in a separate bank account. Alas, the plan starts backfiring and it looks like Peter (Livingston) might just be about to lose his newfound chilled-out attitude.

What makes this movie, besides the really good, spot-on cast, is its razor-sharp script and overall simplicity. The film feels fresh, unique and is very funny without being over-the-top. Some characters are obvious caricatures played for laughs, some feel genuine, but they gel really well to create a slightly cartoonish yet completely relatable world. Stephen Root captures Milton perfectly and his little arc is a charming and accurate nod to the cartoon series, John C. McGinley, Diedrich Bader and Mike Judge himself all pop up and really help make every single secondary character stand out. Everyone's memorable in this movie and looks like they're having a ball. No major criticisms except maybe the whole hypnotist thing is never really resolved and feels like it gets forgotten during the third act which, to be honest, is a tad underwhelming even if it does work fine. The movie could have easily been about 15 minutes longer and indulged itself in a much more all-out ending but as it stands, it stays restrained and never forgets that one of the reasons why Milton worked so well is that it was short and sweet.

Office Space, if you haven't seen it, is really one comedy you should check out, especially if you like Judge's off-beat brand of humour. It's got a great cast, it's a lot of fun and boasts some truly classic moments.

Stapler-ific!

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