Mike Judge is best known as the man behind "Beavis and Butthead" and "King of the Hill" two of the most important and influential cartoons of the past twenty years. As a teenager watching "Beavis and Butthead" felt genuinely dangerous...it was punk in cartoon form. "King of the Hill" bridged the gap between the things I liked and the things my dad liked. Judge is a skilled creator of characters and an astute observer of the everyday.
"Office Space" was his first feature film as writer/director and on its release it...well, it bombed.
The problem, and it's one Judge acknowledged in a recent interview with the Guardian, is that while he is good at comic writing he isn't so good at plot. "Office Space" certainly isn't demanding viewing but, and this is an important but, it is beautifully written and the characters are brilliant comic creations.
Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) hates his job, his life and, quite possibly, himself. He works in a non-job for a big corporation and everyday is the worst day of his life. A visit to a hypnotherapist sees Peter embark on a course of action that ends with him committing fraud via a computer virus with the aid of two equally disillusioned co-workers. That, essentially, is the plot of "Office Space" but along the way we meet some great characters including Milton, Lumbergh and Michael Bolton (not that Michael Bolton).
This is, without doubt, a "cult" movie and one that I feel sure will benefit from repeat viewings.