Game Night (2018)
Reader Rating (Rate Here): [Total: 2 Average: 4/5]
Directed By: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Cast: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Bill Magnussen, Kylie Bunbury, Lamorne Morris, Jesse Plemons, Kyle Chandler
Game Night is a story of a group of friends whose game night changes into horror night when a fake murder mystery turns into a real game of life and death. Stakes are raised and winning becomes must as they unwittingly become part of a larger game involving real criminals and thugs. The intertwined plots and the deadpan comedy keeps you engaged and wanting for more.
Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) are a couple who host game nights regularly for their friends at their home. The group includes the dim witted Ryan (Billy Magnussen), another couple Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury) and Brooks (Kyle Chandler), Max’s unusually successful brother. Max has always been jealous of Brooks because of his good looks and success. The games are usually standard stuff like Zenga, Pictionary, Scrabble and charades. All the members are highly competitive, especially Max and Annie. A beautiful montage in the beginning shows their competitiveness. Their mutual love for games results in their marriage. Max and Annie have a weird neighbor Gary Kingsbury (Jesse Plemons) who happens to be a cop. They try to keep the game nights a secret from Gary who has divorced from their friend Debbie who they liked more.
Brooks invites them at his plush home promising to raise the standards of the game night. He sets up an interactive role playing game with fake FBI and kidnappers. One of the members will be kidnapped and the rest will have to solve some clues thus resulting in the eventual release of the kidnapped member. The winner of the game will get the Stingray which Brooks owns.
The horror begins when two real kidnappers break in and kidnap Brooks. They take their time to realize that it is no game and Brooks is in deep shit with some really bad people. So they begin a hunt for Brooks and what follows is a hilarious cat and mouse game with twists and turns leading to utter chaos.
Game Night’s star attraction is it’s attempts at surprising the audience (though it doesn’t always surprise- some twists you can see from a mile away.) It is a convoluted plot with every character having a subplot and a surprise/secret. It is a clever script in which the psychology of the characters matters. Max’s jealousy towards his brother is one of the most important element of the hunt. The dialogue writing is crisp. There were some scenes which felt more like fillers between the gags and thus were avoidable.
The biggest star of Game Night is Gary. He is creepy as hell but he saves the day in his own way. He is the type of person who is awkward and clumsy with expressing his emotions and is, therefore, shunned every time. You try to avoid him as much as possible without being outright impolite but when you are in trouble he is the first one or probably the only one to show up and help you out of the tight spot. Jesse Plemons is rad as the creepy yet lovable cop.
Max and Annie are a perfect couple with their imperfections. They are unable to conceive and that comes up every time during the entire duration. Kevin is obsessed to find out the guy Michelle cheated on him with. That little subplot has an absolute cracking ending and his obsession to guess his name kind of became mine too!
If you are looking for a light hearted comedy, Game Night is for you. There are a few good laughs and a few good situational comedy gags to keep you entertained and not- bored. The directors are the screenwriters of Horrible Bosses and have done an OK job. Game Night, like the title doesn’t take anything seriously hence you too, shouldn’t. Watch it and share your rating above.
Enjoy the Trailer: