Office Space: Work Sucks (1999)

Posted: July 29, 2012 in Comedy, Crime

The offices at Initech are less than an ideal workplace for a group of the programmers working there. Peter Gibbons has been a drone for quite some time, but challenges with his girlfriend land him in a counseling session. Dropped into hypnosis just as the therapist fell over with a heart attack, Peter’s worries melt away. Returning to the office in the midst of a staff review by a pair of consultants, Peter stops caring about the rules and the expectations of his supervisor, Bill Lumbergh. The downsizing is starting to close in on two of his close friends, Michael Bolton and Samir Nagheenanajar, but the trio get together to come up with a plan to cover their losses by embezzling fractions of cents from each transaction of Initech using a computer virus. Unfortunately, they are surprised to be in the money for much more than they ever planned and are worried about getting figured out.

Starring: Ron Livingston (Peter Gibbons), David Herman (Michael Bolton), Ajay Naidu (Samir Nagheenanajar), Jennifer Aniston (Joanna), Gary Cole (Bill Lumbergh), Stephen Root (Milton Waddams), Diedrich Bader (Lawrence), Richard Riehle (Tom Smykowski), Alexandra Wentworth (Anne), Joe Bays (Dom Portwood), John C. McGinley (Bob Slydell), Paul Wilson (Bob Porter), Kinna McInroe), Greg Pitts (Drew), Todd Duffey (Brian), Mike Judge (Stan)

This is a comedy that had some of the dry elements of The Office before the show ever existed (either British or American versions). The most memorable character from this film had to be Gary Cole as Lumbergh. He certainly has a calm control in his voice that is just iconic through his drawn out speech and lingering motions. Livingston is the main actor for the film and represents his transformation to zen fairly well. Stephen Root is also quite a memorable character through his meek demeanor.

  

Mike Judge struck gold with a concept that had not really been done well prior to Office Space. The three main characters each are on the line when the consultants come in to gut the company of its dead weight. While they would prefer to keep their jobs, the Bobs have made them extremely nervous, enough to devise the plan to steal from the company at a rate that seems negligible to the quick observer. Peter’s personal transformation seemed to make a huge difference in his life, as he was able to drop his stressful girlfriend and get to a point that Lumbergh no longer bothered him. While not as worried about losing his job, he still participates in the scam. Milton, who had been let go a while ago, was easy to push around and move into tighter and tighter spaces, as well as taking away his special red stapler. Peter ends up meeting Joanna at the local restaurant and sees a connection with her, as well as an opportunity to help her figure out what is important in life.

  

The best aspects about this film are the wide range of comedic influences. Whether listening to Michael Bolton rapping in the car (or having to defend his name) or Milton mumbling to himself, the delivery of the script was well done. Another one of those iconic moments occurred with the fight Michael and Samir had with the printer/copier. When they finally had enough, they took it out into a field to beat up on it. But yet again, the best of all of the character performance was that of the infamous Lumbergh. With his obsession with the TPS reports and his ability to create discomfort, Lumbergh is widely imitated and appreciated.

Office Space was the first and best film to depict the modern office space through its colorful characters and exploration of what matters in life.

Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5

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