Game Night was something that I definitely did not expect. I seen the trailer probably once, the TV spots a few times, but I barely knew anything about the actual story. To be honest, my expectations were low because I had nothing to be hyped about. As soon as the movie started, I knew we were in for a treat. Especially when your opening montage has Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” playing in the background- you know you’re going to have a good time(pun intended).
We are introduced to Max(Jason Bateman) and Annie(Rachel McAdams). They are a couple who are very, very competitive to say the least. Even the way they first meet fits perfectly with their personalities(at a Trivia Battle). Max and Annie host a Tostitos-filled game night every week with their friends, until Max’s hot shot brother Brooks(played by Kyle Chandler) comes into town and offers to host a special game night. Obviously, if you’ve seen the trailers – The night goes completely wrong and we(the audience) go on a ride with full of twists, turns, and laughs.
Usually when I review a comedy, there’s nothing really to spoil except the ending(which is more than likely predictable). With Game Night, every time you think you have the movie figured out, the story goes in another direction. Kudos to Mark Perez for writing an excellent script by blending comedy and mystery perfectly together. The director duo of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein did a great job making the film look stylish(we get aerial shots of the scenery which mimic the look of an actual board game) and fast paced during the action scenes. One of my favorite shots involved a one-take type of cut, which had all of the characters passing around an object, with the camera following every move. That part was pretty entertaining.
The cast did a great job as well. Jason Bateman comes in and does what he does best. His style of humor works great in this movie(having worked with the directors in Horrible Bosses). Rachel McAdams also shines in this one, and it may be the most I’ve enjoyed her since Mean Girls. The chemistry between the two was believable and they played off each other very well. The supporting cast(Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan) also does a great job, especially when part of the movie has each pair breaking off to solve the mystery. They each shine in their respective scenes. We get some great laughs from Morris and Magnussen, and a very hilarious scene which involves Bunbury, but there is no way I’m going to ruin that!
The scene stealer to me has to be Jesse Plemons as the couple’s neighbor Gary. Literally, the first scene we see him in is my favorite scene from the entire movie. Most of the times I laughed out loud revolved around his character. Whether it’s the camera locking on him in silence, or it’s him talking and the camera zooms in slowly – it’s hilarious. We also get a very funny scene that involves Max(Bateman) and Gary’s dog. I’ll leave it at that. Most of the movies Plemons does has a very serious dramatic tone, so it’s great to see him have fun with this role. I’d love to see him in more comedies!
Game Night is a movie I would 100% recommend. It’s not the funniest movie I’ve seen, but it’s entertaining enough to watch at your local theater. The thing that didn’t really work for me was the payoff of the villain. There were so many things going on that we didn’t get to have any real time with the bad guy. And then, whenever I thought we were going to learn about a new character, they got forgotten about. Other than that – this movie gave me a lot of laughs and a few unexpected gasps. It was very enjoyable. I’m giving Game Night a 4/5 !