Starring: Jon Hamm, Danny Pudi, Sarah Gadon, Christopher Heyerdahl, Allison Riley, Bill Marchant, Kimberley Shoniker, Shawn Macdonald, Conor Stinson O'Gorman, Veena Sood, and June B. Wilde
Director: Joachim Back
As if after nine rounds with Mike Tyson, I collapsed onto the couch and congratulated myself when the film’s credits signaled Corner Office was over. Without straining to find the artistic hidden gems, this movie simply fails in its intention. Working in a corporate environment can be maddening, but Orson’s (Jon Hamm) self-centered type of crazy puts everyone on the side of the corporation from the jump. The narration is tortuously constant, with observations of the obvious as the modus operandi for attempted humor. It fails as a “comedy,” and I mostly just felt sorry for Jon Hamm because he really deserves better.
I feel like Corner Office had so much potential, but I was left disappointed. It seemed to be within arms’ reach of an interesting mystery or revelation, but the satire isn't compelling enough. Plus, it leans too much on its Kafka-esque, absurdist style and surreal imagery without having much to say or a point to make. It should have gone further and been stranger, but the film quickly lays all its cards on the table and reveals the enigma, or lack thereof, of the office room, leaving little worth sticking around for throughout its tedious duration.
Director Joachim Back’s newest effort isn’t nearly as clever as I had hoped it might be. Unfortunately, Corner Office is a pretty toothless affair. For a satire meant to critique corporate culture and masculinity, the film offers shockingly little insight into either subject. The over-reliance on narration strips the script of its intrigue while simultaneously robbing Jon Hamm’s performance of any potential nuance. While I admire some of the set design and artistry, I feel like the film's stylistic decisions could’ve been much bolder. Despite a promising premise, Corner Office ends up falling flatter than a stack of paperwork.