This is a devilishly on-target black comedy about corporate politics, generational conflict, money fever, and what happens in the office when cutthroat competition becomes the norm. Michael Caine gives a spiffy performance as a middle-aged New York executive who is understandably upset when the big promotion he's been waiting for is given to a young, smug, wheeler-dealer (Robert Riegert). Caine decides to fight back, imagining himself as a modern-day sorcerer who eliminates all those who do not acknowledge his power. Andrew Klavan's sharp-edged screen adaptation of Simon Brett's novel makes A Shock to the System both involving and compelling. Director Jan Egleson also draws out top-drawer performances from the supporting cast, including Swoosie Kurtz as Caine's nagging wife, Elizabeth McGovern as his lover, and John McMartin as an executive cast aside in corporate realignment.
A Shock to the System
Shows what happens in the office when cutthroat competition becomes the norm.