Game Night Review

Game Night
  • Directing8
  • Writing8
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Game Night is an R-rated romp that actually lives up to its premise, thanks to Mark Perez's sharply dark script and directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein's ability to harness the spot-on comedic chops of their performers, including Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams. Game Night is every bit is slick and as action-packed as the film's it mocks, while also being incredibly funny.

John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein‘s Game Night is a hilarious R-rated romp that’s not afraid to push the envelope with its clever twists and turns, thanks to Mark Perez‘s reliable script and a crop of great performances, led with confidence and ease by Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams and Kyle Chandler.

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) are the competitive power couple that takes game night to a whole new level. They’ve been like that since they met and have no plans of stopping for quarters as they continue to show up their friends in a friendly fashion.

That’s all fine and dandy as another ordinary game night gets turned up to eleven as Max’s arrogant and flashy brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) tries to show off and show up the gang by hosting a real life hostage mystery event that goes terribly wrong.

Now, Max, Annie and their friends must help Brooks escape harm and danger, while never dropping their competitive edge or inability to lose.

Game Night might be promoted as another film “from the Horrible Bosses studio”, but don’t let that lame tagline fool you. It’s miles better than that wannabe dark comedy and I say that because Game Night actually sticks to its premise and never lets up.

Horrible Bosses toyed with the idea, but never really committed to its premise, which was half the reason to watch it. Game Night promises a wild night of humor and mischief and it delivers and then some.

Vacation reboot directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein take Mark Perez‘s script and fully commit, from the sharpened camera shots and snazzy editing techniques, to the full-on teasing and mocking of the cat-and-mouse Michael Douglas film The Game.

It does this with a wide-eyed grin that’s not afraid to spill a little queso dip or knock over a few half-full cans of beer. Game Night‘s ridiculous plot is followed fully through, with Max and Annie going as far as firing guns and running over bad guys in attempt to finish the game.

Jason Bateman gives a slightly different performance than usual, one that is is less annoying and safe and more okay with thrills and adventures, as long as it means winning. Rachel McAdams‘ Annie is the rock of the group, ditching the stereotypical wife role for one that’s still kind, gentle and caring, but fully bad ass and ready to go. She’s not sidelined or dubbed the party pooper and instead pushing Bateman’s Max, while also fully supporting him.

Watching Bateman and McAdams work together is a real melding of styles and comedy and it anchors the film’s performances.

Jesse Plemons honestly steals the film as the neighbor that nobody wants to hangout with or invite to anything, Gary. He may be very observant and weird at his social engagements, but don’t let that fool you, because he’s got an equally twisted and wild side.

Game Night‘s ability to never doubt its characters or their reactions in situations is what makes the film truly feel funnier than it probably is. Everyone’s reactions are so spot on and confident that it makes their characters feel real and their responses even more authentic.

The humor is more fine-tuned and sharpened when compared to Daley and Goldstein’s previous film Vacation, which is a tad under-rated, but yes very broad and silly.

Game Night is that R-rated comedy that doesn’t focus on toilet humor or cheap gags. It’s full of actual comedic situations that are backed up with some truly solid camera work. The action in the film never feels cheap or amateur, which only helps make the entire premise work and continue to do so.

I had no idea I’d be laughing as hard as I was or be having as much fun as I had with Game Night. It’s one of the better studio comedies and a film that I wouldn’t mind revisiting in the near future.


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