Film review: Office Uprising (2018), directed by Lin Oeding
tl;dr: Severance meets The Office, sort of?
Weapons manufacturer Ammotech employee Desmond (Brenton Thwaites) is not having a great time at work. He’s stuck in a grey cubicle in accounting, spending most of his time working on his computer game side project or making prank calls to friend and co-worker Mourad (Karan Soni). His his childhood friend and co-worker Samantha (Jane Levy) in HR sadly doesn’t seem to be interested in him in that way, veteran employee Lentworth (Kurt Fuller) is about to be fired, and things are just not great all around.
Desmond’s report is overdue due to him spending an evening drinking and basically LARPing Mario Kart with his flatmates, so his meeting with peculiar boss Adam Nusbaum (Zachary Levi) is bound to not be great to start with. What Desmond fails to notice on the way in is that there appears to have been a … re-decoration in the office and something’s definitely not okay with the staff. See, the nerds in R&D made an energy drink that turns people into homicidal maniacs* … and then handed out said cans for free around the office. Let’s just say they’ve all downed a lot of cans.
Also starring Gregg Henry as Ammotech boss Franklin Gantt, Ian Harding as Dr Frohm and Alan Ritchson as Bob from Marketing.
Like dark comedies? Like horror films? Great, watch this film. It’s hilarious, and it’s violent and bloody, and shows remarkable stationary inventions. It’s a bit dude-heavy, admittedly (aside from HR), but when hubby first put this film on I thought “oh hey, it’s that’s cute guy!” when Nusbaum came on screen, and re-watching the film, he’s actually in it quite a bit (yay!), so if you’re into Zachary Levi … this film is pretty much catnip, not gonna lie. So while it’s dude-heavy, and the main female character spends most of the time being tied up (for admittedly fairly good reasons), one of the dudes in question is amazing enough to make up for it.
This clip, which I hope is still available when this review is posted, sums up why. It’s right at the beginning of the “outbreak”, and is when Desmond starts to realise that something’s seriously wrong.
Imagine being that into stationary. (That freshly-sharpened pencil smell, though … I mean, sure, it’s special, but I’ve never made that face as a result.) And having a rant about grammar. It warms the cockles of my shallow “I can relate to this” heart. And who hasn’t wanted to stab someone with a pencil (or several dozen) at some point?
So, to summarise: Office Uprising is a B-movie worth watching even if you don’t have a particular thing for a certain actor. (Even though he’s undoubtedly the best thing about this film.) I like the rest of the cast as well, like Mo, who probably goes through the biggest character transformation – and he hasn’t even had any of the energy drink.
Watch this if you can, if you’re into sort of slasher horror black comedies. I’m not really into slasher horror films by any means, but combine it with black comedy, and I’m SO THERE FOR IT. Like British film Severance (2006), which also involves the staff of a major weapons manufacturing corporation getting slaughtered, albeit for entirely different reasons, and it’s hilarious. To this day we’ll joke about pies being in the oven for “the full hour”.
4 out of 5 Agent Orange Sodas.
*Anyone else getting strong The Young Ones vibes there? Quoth Vyvyan: “I’ve made a potion that turns you into an axe-wielding homicidal maniac! It’s a cure, really. For not being an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. I put it in a Coke can so nobody’d drink it by mistake.”