Film Review: Game Night


Isn’t it refreshing to go into a Hollywood comedy expecting the absolute worst, only to come out literally invigorated by how well-constructed said comedy turned out to be. Made by the same people who brought you Horrible Bosses (don’t hold that against them), Game Night is the sort of raucous, joyous and brilliantly self-aware comedy we’ve all been waiting for since Bridesmaids seven years ago.

Staring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams as a competitive couple whose game nights have become a stuff of legend amongst their group of friends, the film not only manages to deliver the goods with its fantastically well crafted comedic narrative, but also succeeds in highlighting what we’ve been missing out on these last few years, simple and effective gags delivered with gusto and great comic timing.

Max (Bateman) and Annie (McAdams) fell in love a few years earlier when they met as members of rival quiz teams. Now married and living the idyllic suburban life, the couple have everything they can wish for, but Max remains bitter about one thing, never having been able to beat his older, more successful brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) at any game since they were kids.

When Brooks shows up one night for a regular night of charades and shenanigans, both Max and Annie are exasperated by the older brother’s brash and dismissive behaviour towards his younger brother. However, when it is suggested that Brooks is to host the next Game Night, the friends jump at the chance of defeating him to claim a yet unclosed prize. Things take a turn for sinister when Brooks, who had carefully planned out a murder mystery night, ends up getting kidnapped for real in front of his unsuspecting friends.

Elevated by secondary characters which, for a change, aren’t just there to make up the numbers, Game Night does a fantastic job in highlighting the talent of the likes of Billy Magnussen (Ingrid Goes West) who is simply fantastic as the shallow womaniser Ryan who finally meets his match when he invites acerbic work colleague Sarah (played superbly by Sharon Horgan) to be his games teammate. While Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury put in some strong comedic turns as warring couple Kevin and Michelle. However it is without a shadow of a doubt Jesse Plemons as Max and Annie’s sinister cop neighbour who lifts this comedy from being simply good, to a level of utter brilliance.

Game Night directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein can rest assured that they have not only surpassed all expectations, but that they’ve also managed to make this into one of the funniest and most likeable comedies to come out of Hollywood in the last few years. Expect several sequels.

In fact, after reviewing, John Wright from Mr Mobi mobile casino found that Game Night is one of the best entertaining Hollywood self-aware comedy movies.

Linda Marric