This file was generated 2002-09-03 03:17 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2001-07-29.
Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> November 1999 >> Office Space
Mike Judge is primarily famous for two accomplishments: "Beavis and Butt-head" and "King of the Hill". Judge had previously directed Beavis and Butt-head Do America, one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. There are those who would condemn Judge to work only in animation since that is where his past successes have been. I don't think that's fair. Sure, Office Space isn't the strongest acting movie I've seen this year, but that's not its biggest flaw. I was much more disturbed by the twist when the main focus of the movie left the fruitful parodies of the office in favor of a low-quality crime caper. I almost think it would be best if the first half of the movie were allowed to live on its own. This is a writing problem, not a directing problem. Of course, Judge did both, but... oh, never mind.
It didn't take long for Office Space to start amusing me. The initial gag with the stop-and-go traffic seemed a little easy, but well done. When life at the office started to take over, things only got better. I was savoring the little touches like Kinna McInroe's endless-loop phone greeting and the bizarre error messages that emanate from office equipment like fax machines. For the record, I have actually encountered the error message "PC Load Letter" in real life. Taking the humor outside the office and into the restaurant was just as good, mercifully.
I thought I was really on top of recognizing cast members from previous work until I actually started trying to confirm my suspicions at the IMDB. I was hit with more than a few surprises. I thought that Dr. Swanson was Richard Griffiths from Naked Gun 2 1/2. Nope, it's Michael McShane, an alumnus of the original "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and FDR from two episodes of "Seinfeld" including the backwards one. Diedrich Bader may be trying to hide behind a passable Sam Elliott impression, but it's undoubtedly him. I'm still marveling that the much-trampled Milton Waddams was played by Stephen Root, who was the overbearing boss on "NewsRadio".
In some senses, Office Space can't be nitpicked. There's very little feeling of realism, and some of the nitpicks come off as jokes instead. When quitting the MacOS dumps the user to a DOS prompt, you almost feel like the filmmakers know exactly what they're doing and are playing it for a laugh. I do, though, want to complain about the speaker setup in Peter's apartment. Nobody, especially a tech-head, would buy a five-speaker stereo system and put all the speakers together like that. You hardly need a center channel if the side channels are that close together. Don't get me started on the position of the surround speakers! Of course, the set direction indicated that Peter had some taste. That alone should tell me he's not much of a programmer, so maybe he would goof up a speaker setup like that.