‘Game Night’ Review

game-night-movie-poster-mdGame Night is a mystery-thriller comedy film directed by John Francis Daley and  Jonathan Goldstein and stars Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Jesse Plemons, Lamorne Morris, Kyle Chandler, and Billy Magnussen, with Michael C. Hall and Jeffrey Wright in small roles. The story follows couple Max and Annie whose murder mystery game night with a group of friends turns real when Max’s brother Brooks is actually kidnapped. Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are fun as Max and Annie. The banter they have between each other is swift and fun for the audience to listen to. There is a great example of this early on when they are meeting with their husband’s doctor. On the other hand, Max and Annie do not have the best chemistry in terms of a relationship. Most of the time it feels like they are really close friends or even siblings. This could have easily been fixed by fleshing out more of how they got together during the opening montage. Lamorne Morris is at home in his role of Kevin. It feels like all of his previous roles, but that’s not a bad thing. He plays the quirky friend well and gels with the all of the cast. The scenes that he shares with Kylie Bunbury, who plays his wife, Michelle, are great. Also, hearing Kevin do an impersonation of Denzel Washington is funny on so many levels. The standout of the film is definitely Jesse Plemons as Max and Annie’s neighbor cop, Gary Kingsbury. His role is a smaller one, but whenever he’s onscreen you can’t help but laugh. His interactions with Max, Annie, and their friends are some of the best scenes in the film. Plemons gives a creepy yet solemn performance as Gary. At first you don’t care for him, but eventually, you take pity on him when you find out how he is treated and what happened to him. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein do a great job directing this film. They handle the humor very well and make sure that each character gets their time to shine. The dialogue between the characters is believable, making their friendship feel real and extensive. Daley and Goldstein also make an interesting choice in directing the wide shots by making the city look like a game board and the cars like game pieces. I’m not sure if actual miniatures were used or it was a trick lens, which makes it even more intriguing because it’s something that I have never seen in a live-action film before. I give Game Night a Decent 7.8/10. This film is such a pleasant surprise as opposed to other comedies that come out this time of year.

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