Film reviewKaylee Brewster
“Game Night” strategically creates an amusing script and characters, fits them with perfect acting partners and takes it all the way for a win.
Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) host a game night every week with friends. One evening Max’s brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), decides to take game night up a notch by staging a murder mystery.
When a group of real kidnappers interrupts the party, Max, Annie and the other couples are left to assume it’s all part of the act. They blunder around to solve the fake mystery unaware of the real dangers they face.
That’s part of the fun for audiences, watching normal people being forced into very unusual situations. They don’t respond like people who face kidnappings, fights and bullets on a daily basis; they are completely naive and unsure how to react.
Bateman and McAdams have great chemistry but more importantly, they have comedic rapport. Their exchanges and behavior are laugh-out-loud funny. They use exactly the right words and tone for maximum comedic effect.
But they don’t have to carry the film alone.
Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury play another couple, Kevin and Michelle, who represent the perfect couple that’s been together for forever. Morris and Bunbury keep the laughs rolling with a few squabbles in the midst of life-and-death situations, Denzel Washington impersonations, and a few “you got this” moments when the person clearly doesn’t.
Then there’s Ryan (Billy Magnussen) and Sarah (Sharon Horgan), who have only been a couple since that evening. Their humor comes from Ryan’s lack of intelligence and Sarah’s abundance of it. He’s constantly missing the obvious and saying the wrong thing, while Sarah has to either over explain or ignore Ryan’s ignorance.
This comedic cast keeps alive a plot that excites with twists and turns and jokes around every corner. At times, audiences know what dangers lie ahead; at other they are as suprised as the characters at what comes next.
“Game Night” is entertaining, with all the right moves to ensure audiences don’t want to throw the game and go home early.