CORPORATE ANIMALS – Review by Susan Granger

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Now in theaters and VOD, Patrick Brice’s wannabe horror comedy revolves around eight employees at a failing company and their egotistical boss who forces them to participate in a dangerous cave-diving excursion.

Lucy Vanderton (Demi Moore) is the ruthless CEO of Incredible Edible Cutlery, a company battling the detrimental effect that plastic utensils have on the environment. To promote team-building, she’s arranged a corporate spelunking weekend with Brandon (Ed Helms) as their guide.

“If you can navigate the deepest cave systems of New Mexico,” she tells them, “then we can navigate the challenges of today’s business environment.”

Among those participating are Lucy’s two assistants – Freddie (Karan Soni) and Jess (Jessica Williams), both vying for the same major VP promotion – along with middle-aged Gloria (Martha Kelly), jaded Billy (Dan Bakkedahl), hapless Suzy (Nasim Pedrad), disgruntled Derek (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), and the gullible intern Aidan (Calum Worthy).

When there’s a seismic tremor and giant rocks block their only escape tunnel, they’re all entombed in a large, underground cavern with little or no hope of rescue.

A “DAY ONE” title card indicates that their entrapment won’t be short and, when their food – a box of sample products – is depleted, their inevitable starvation leads to an absurd debate about the morbid logistics of cannibalism.

Superficially scripted by Sam Bain (co-creator of British TV’s “Peep Show”) and haphazardly directed by Patrick Brice (“Creep,” “The Overnight”), it’s all about mocking the insidious dynamics of workplace politics and catering to a narcissistic boss – with Britney Spears contributing a voice cameo.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Corporate Animals” is an inconsequential, tiresome 3, a sub-standard, if subversive satire.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.