Game Night: This one is a perfect Friday evening dark comedy to enjoy with friends over beer
Movie Review by Annie Cynthia (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
A regular game night of uber-gaming couple Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) becomes a fell stroke when Max’s attractive brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler) introduces them to a role-playing murder mystery game perfected with fake thugs and FBI agents. But when the game gets out of hand, unexpected truth surfaces. A hilariously executed dark comedy, Game Night is a wild child with a razor-sharp script, winsome cast and enjoyable performances.
While an actor from the mystery game posing as an FBI agent (Jeffrey Wright) hands over clues and elaborates the game, thugs break in and kidnap Brooks, knocking cold, the agent. Following clues as part of the kidnapping game, and in pursuit for Brooks to win the grand prize: The Sting Ray, the gaming party goes on a spree. Max, Annie and their regular game night friends, Ryan (Billy Magnussen) and his date, Sarah (Sharon Horgan); married couple Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury) together with an outlandish cop, Gary Kingsbury (Jesse Plemons) have to face the events that twist at every turn making the night far better than the game itself.
The makers of Horrible Bosses, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have yet again come up with a clever comedy. Mark Perez’s screenplay is fleshed out and each scene is thought upon properly. The film is produced by John Davis and Jason Bateman while the cinematography is handled by 21 Jump Street’s Barry Peterson. Cliff Martinez’s peppy background score adds more spunk to the plotline.
Bateman and Mcadams are one perfect duo to pull off as a gonzo couple and professional game night players. They seem like a couple married forever, as they complete each other’s sentences and are ever-supportive of one another. McAdams reminds us of how good a comic actress she is and Bateman, with his dark sense of humor, is perfect as Max. However, the show stealer is Plemons. He plays Gary, a weird ball character, that requires an understated performance and Plemons pristinely delivers it. Chandler as Brooks wears his character well.
The supporting cast has Michael C. Hall as the Bulgarian, an estranged black market agent pursuing Brookes to acquire an illegal product, Magnussen gives us laughs as the dim-witted Ryan and the couple, Morris as Kevin and Bunbury as Michelle engage in constant comical conversations, that will never really tire you.
Although, the film’s premise loses track and becomes a gonzo crime escapade, it cruises along smoothly in most parts. In short, Game Night is a smart adult comedy, better than recent flicks of the genre.