My Rating: 3 stars
I’m a sucker for a good battle-royale. And, I’m especially fond of the kind of horror/comedy/thriller movie where employees of an oppressive, corporate overlord have finally had enough, and are taking their frustrations out on their oppressors. And, if power-tools are being used, all the better. Although, I’m a little unclear on exactly what type of office has nail guns and radial saws just laying around for casual use. But, I’m willing to be very generous in my suspension of disbelief. Plus, this story is supposed to be a bit surreal. So, I can go along with the fun.
This particular brand of dystopic anarchy is caused by a virus. It’s highly communicable and causes those infected to descend into a state of pure id. Sex, violence, rock and roll—all your wildest impulses will come bubbling to the surface for a period of about twenty-four hours. Of course, an outbreak like this at any office isn’t really conducive to getting much work done. But at the cut-throat law firm in this story, the situation gets pretty dangerous. At least the characters will finally get to do something about all those grudges they’ve kept hidden deep inside.
This movie started off on the right foot in my book with its casting. Steven Yeun is pretty sexy, so casting him as Derek, the main protagonist whose meltdown we follow as the running through-line was an inspired choice. And, Samara Weaving (playing Melanie) matches him beat for beat as his partner in crime/love interest. They both capture that air of nothing-to-lose desperation with a touch of crazy-eye. And, all the corporate fat-cats and partners in this law firm are played by the most perfectly smug and evil-looking character actors you could hope for. They all look and act unendurably shady and manipulative. Once the virus hits, Derek’s goal is to make it upstairs to the power-player’s floor to give his bosses a piece of his mind. But, this law firm is locked down like a fortress. Employees need the right keycard and authorization codes to travel up to the seat of power. It almost feels like a video game: our hero sets out on a quest, running the gauntlet of murderous, feral coworkers, and searching for the key that will take him to the next level.
This is a fun movie. It’s not serious at all. But, the pacing is exciting, and it hits all the necessary elements for an office place showdown. It isn’t even really the best example in the genre. But, it had enough fun elements that it kept my attention well enough. I won’t lie to you. I mostly watched this movie to see Steven Yeun running around, wielding power tools. And, this movie delivers that in abundance. And, the story has enough “underdog sticking it to the man” to be emotionally satisfying. I guess I’d recommend it if you like movies in this genre. But, it’s probably not for a much wider audience.