Game Night

Michael Corenblith, Jamie Gross, and David Egan in Game Night (2018)Jason Bateman (Max) and Rachel McAdams (Annie) star as a game-obsessed married couple in Game Night. They frequently get together with two other couples to play charades and what not. One couple, Kevin and Michelle, are fighting about whether or not Michelle slept with a celebrity or not, and if so who. Ryan, an overtly dumb individual, brings Sarah to game night, an older woman who may or may not be into him. During one very unique game night, they go to Max’s brother house. Brooks is the clearly more successful and handsome brother, and Max constantly feels as though Brooks is purposefully topping him. Brooks has the bright idea of hiring a crew to stage a fake murder mystery in the house. However, things escalate when Brooks is snatched by real criminals while the rest of the game night crew think it’s still all a gag.

This latest goofy comedy does its job well and is utterly hilarious. Bateman and McAdams work surprisingly well together, (along with the rest of the cast) making for a great comedy duo. However, the real treat here is Jesse Plemons as Gary Kingsbury, the creepy police officer who lives next door. Gary isn’t invited to game night anymore as the group became aware of his strange and awkward personality. Often popping up out of nowhere or lurking in the shadows, this unique and hilarious character waits to be invited back to game night while he sulks over his ex-wife and holds his white, fluffy, adorable puppy dog. If you were to go see the movie just for him, it would be worth it.

There’s also plenty of slapstick comedy to go around as well, like people getting hit in the face, shot in the arm, and sucked into a propeller. Those might seem super violent, but here they are played off for comedy and it works perfectly.

A bit towards the third and final act, the comedy gets a bit repetitive, and somewhat irritating with its forced nature of attempting twists. However, this doesn’t get in the way of the real well-written humor, and the movie keeps itself rolling well from start to finish. The twists are fun but don’t act as the main reason to see this movie. Game Night’s hilariously written characters, dialogue and action, are enough reasons to see the film.

The comedic dialogue is great here as well and Mark Perez’s hilarious script acts as the backbone for Game Night’s success. The lines in each circumstance are killer and delivered perfectly with a well-casted ensemble. Comedy is quite often the most difficult genre to film successfully, and there are plenty of examples every year where it goes wrong. Game Night is not such an example.

Grade: B+

Rated R for language, sexual references and some violence

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