Game Night Movie Review
Game Night is better than actual game night. Funny and well-conceived, the R-rated comedy boasts a fun, fast-paced story and a consistent dose of humor, though to call it the next comedy classic would be a bit much.
Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams lead a terrific cast of comedic actors who enjoy nothing more than doing game night with their friends (Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury and Billy Magnussen) - and not so much with their creepy neighbor (Jesse Plemons). But when Bateman’s brother (Kyle Chanlder) gets kidnapped as part of what they think is an elaborate game, the crew embarks on a cross-town adventure that includes burglary, murder and other mayhem.
Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, Game Night operates similarly to their entertaining Vacation reboot, in that they bring to life a colorful cast of characters, throw them into a bunch of absurd situations, and utilize the combination to deliver a mix of quick humor and running jokes that carry throughout the film. As in Vacation, not everything works, but with an ever-evolving plot and actors who are able to gloss over minor faults, Game Night is generally quite good with several laugh-out-loud moments.
It’s the kind of movie that could get better on repeat viewings, too.
Daley and Goldstein also do a good job of playing to their actors’ strengths, with McAdams serving as a standout but Plemons, in a supporting role, stealing the show as a socially awkward police officer who wants friends no matter what the cost.
It doesn’t always hit home, but Game Night is an entertaining, funny comedy that isn’t afraid to go for glory. I feel a game pun is necessary to close this review out, but my cranium has been so monopolized by operations it’s scrabbled beyond all dominion, to the point where it would at least take a trivial pursuit of life to get me out of trouble. Sorry!
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.