Plot: Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) are a childless married couple who relax with friends by playing highly competitive games like Scrabble and Charades. This night, however, with the return of Max’s charming, successful brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), the game becomes fraught with sibling rivalry and violence that somehow never eclipses the humor. For the audience, determining what is just a game and what is real is the enjoyable endgame, and one not easily solved.
Game Night is the first comedy gem of 2018, and one of the best comedies in a long, long time, a hilarious and entertaining good time at the movies. I haven’t seen a comedy this charming, clever and funny in years.
Yes, it does have some jokes that don’t quite land, and the concept is not 100 percent fresh, but it does enough with the old ideas to make them feel new. Plus, the cast is phenomenal; they have fantastic chemistry with each other and there are multiple standouts and potential stars among them. Rachel McAdams is an adorable spitfire full of charisma, Jason Bateman is as hilarious as ever, and the rest of the cast hold their own equally as well as the two leads, especially Jesse Plemons, who steals the film right out from underneath the entire talented cast as a very creepy neighbor.
Some of the film’s best gags you did not see in the trailer, which is good news for me and to you. The plot has some really great twists, which I will not give away because I am not a total asshole (Although I admit I can be one sometimes…). The plot is very engaging, the script is witty and full of the right amount of ingenuity, and the humor is crass at times, but not too crass and doesn’t rely on gross-out gags, drugs or nudity to get a laugh out of its audience, which is a welcome breath of fresh air. It also features a surprisingly amazing retro techno score by Cliff Martinez that suits the film, but could also be heard in a Tron soundtrack. It is a very intriguing mix, but a satisfying one. The direction by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein is truly terrific. This comedy has better-shot fight scenes than actual action movies I have seen in theaters, plus it has some really wonderful style and very unique usage of miniatures to help set up certain transition shots. I came away from this film really impressed with the direction from these two, and I’m really looking forward to whatever project they helm next. They definitely rebounded in a big way with this one.
Game Night has just the right mix of laughs, action, and mystery that really does capture the spirit of game nights with your friends. It has its fair share of flaws: some moments where it tries a bit too hard, certain jokes that aren’t very funny, and it is not a film for the ages or anything. But how many game nights really are? It puts a smile on your face and does its job better than any comedy from 2017 did.
Overall,I am proud and pleased to say that Game Night is worth the price of admission and will give you hope that the comedy genre is not quite dead yet, despite the Blockers and Book Clubs of the world, which are comedies coming out this year that look absolutely horrendous. If you liked Clue, April Fool’s Day, or The Game with Michael Douglas, this is right up your alley. Roll the dice and make it a night with Game Night.