The so-called humor in “Office Christmas Party” is industrial-strength sludge poisoned by laziness and cynicism. It may have its share of fart jokes, but it's no gas.

You couldn’t find a more apropos movie to mirror these populist times than “Office Christmas Party.” It’s set in Chicago, but may as well be the top floors of a certain Manhattan tower. We even get an Ivanka Trump of sorts in Jennifer Aniston’s Carol Vanstone to represent the one sane voice among a building full of immature pinheads bumbling their way to success. All of them male, natch.

Their leader is Carol’s orange-haired brother, Clay (the annoyingly manic T.J. Miller), a CEO who’d rather be unhinged and adored than competent in his endeavors to run the Windy City branch of wannabe tech giant Zenotek. In what we pray isn’t a harbinger for the country, Clay’s unconventional leadership skills have pretty much run the company into the ground. His plan to save it from Carol’s threats to close it is to throw a wild Christmas party in hopes that a room full of drunken nerds and topless secretaries will convince a coveted client (Courtney B. Vance) that he should reward Zenotek with a lucrative contract.

Cue the “Wolf of Wall Street” drug-and-alcohol-fueled shenanigans in which techno geeks rub elbows – and other body parts – with hookers then rush to the copy machines to predictably Zerox their bulbous buttocks. Sound like fun? Maybe so – if we were actually there standing in the room. But we’re not. No, we’re stuck in a sticky-floored theater watching it from afar, bored and detached. Even worse, we’re expected to make sense of a script by no less than five chumps (or is that chimps) who wouldn’t know a good joke if it bit them in the rear.

I mean what could be funnier than Aniston telling a 10-year-old girl to “go f--- yourself”? Or, Vance’s Walter Davis accidentally inhaling a blizzard of snow (and we’re not talking frozen water) and then climbing to the rafters to try to swing down to the floor like Tarzan using a string of Christmas lights as a vine? But then his inevitable careening crash to the floor could not provide a more apt metaphor for a bloody-and-bruised comedy so clumsy it can’t get out of its own way.
Blame that on our incompetent hosts, Will Speck and Josh Gordon, the pair who directed the hilarious “Blades of Glory,” but have been on a steep decline ever since. Like their last debacle, “The Switch,” “Party” pairs Aniston with Jason Bateman, with whom she also starred in the equally awful “Horrible Bosses” movies. You’d think these two sitcom vets could ignite a few sparks, but they’re now oh-for-four and our patience is up.

At least they fare better than Olivia Munn, stuck in the thankless role of Bateman’s “girl,” and “SNL” standouts Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer, both heinously wasted in unfunny roles as office killjoys. I actually felt embarrassed for them, especially McKinnon, who ends up in a minivan trying to pull a “Fast and Furious” type jump over the Clark Street drawbridge – while it’s raised. Ouch! It’s yet another wreck symbolic of a movie that’s constantly veering off the path into clunky slapstick and stupid gags. Like Randall Park’s Fred trying to get it on with Bayer’s office manager, Allison, by doing a bit of creepy role playing in pretending to be a baby in need of Mama’s strict discipline. “What’s that in my diaper?”

If you think that’s funny, by all means add “Office Christmas Party” to your holiday list. If not, don your hazmet suits and stay as far away as possible from an industrial-strength sludge poisoned by laziness and cynicism. It may have its share of fart jokes, but it’s no gas.
OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY (R for crude sexual content and language throughout, drug use and graphic nudity.) Cast includes Jason Bateman, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Munn, Kate McKinnon and Courtney B. Vance. Grade: D