Office Comedy "Demoted" Doesn't Always Work Review

Demoted undeniably walks down a familiar lane. Tragically, any work-based comedy will be compared against the gold standard, Office Space. It’s hard to do better and Demoted surely doesn’t. But that said, it’s not a miss either.

Mike (Sean Astin) and Rodney (Michael Vartan) are hot-shot tire salesmen with frat-boy minds. While they share a party-loving kinship with their boss, everyone else in the office is fixed squarely as the butt of their jokes, none worse than Ken Castro (David Cross). But when a night of rampant debauchery leaves the boss on the slab, Castro takes over the business and the duo of pranksters find themselves Demoted to secretaries. With the aptly named Castro diabolically at the helm and budget cuts on the horizon, it’s up to Mike and Rodney to learn a couple lessons, stop the bad guy, save the company, and get married.

The standout is David Cross; undeniably one of the great comedic presences currently working. His contribution to Arrested Development as Tobias was peerless, specifically the brilliant arc as Ms. Featherbottom. Unfortunately, despite an ever-growing body of work, he seems relegated to being a personality more than a performer. Where the greats a la 1990s Jim Carrey built careers around total abandon, Cross seems too sharp or cynical to ever be wholly lost in his work, a trait that is not served well by mid-range material, such as Demoted.

All in all, the film delivers with scattered but consistent laughs and a couple real gems. It’s worth kicking back and relaxing with, but for a real work of corporate satire, Office Space still holds the throne.



"Demoted" is on sale June 12, 2012 and is rated R. Comedy. Written by Dan Callahan. Starring Billy West, David Cross, Michael Vartan, Sean Astin.

Kyle North • Staff Writer


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