Review: Game Night

A friendly game night turns into a real kidnapping in the new comedy, Game Night.

Super competitive couple Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) regularly have their friends over for game night. The core group includes Michelle (Pitch’s Kylie Bunbury) and Kevin (Lamorne Morris), along with Ryan (Billy Magnussen) and his revolving door of “hot dates”.

Brooks (Kyle Chandler), Max’s much more accomplished brother, comes to visit and plans to take game night to the next level with a murder mystery. When Brooks is kidnapped by real criminals, the rest of the group tries to piece together what’s happening and find Brooks.

Game Night a simple comedic set up – a naive group of friends don’t realize they’re in over their heads. The gag of the group not knowing what’s real or fake is used multiple times over the 1hr 40 min run time.

As simple as the set up is, the movie delivers and is  funny and flat out hilarious at some points. Some of that comedy comes courtesy of Jesse Plemons who plays Gary, Max and Annie’s neighbor. Plemons’ dry delivery and psychotic stare is enough comedy all by itself. Plemons gives a great comedic performance as the guy you most likely don’t want coming to your game night.

There’s a great running joke between Michelle and Kevin. During a drinking game, Michelle takes a drink when asked “If you’ve slept with a celebrity.” This is odd to Kevin since they’ve been together since middle school. Kevin spends most of the movie obsessing over what celebrity she slept with. The running joke has a great payoff during the 3rd act of the film.

Kylie Bunbury has star potential and the talent to be one of the best young actors in Hollywood. Seeing her stand her ground with this cast on the big screen will hopefully be the showcase she needs to get more screen time, big or small.

Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams and Kyle Chandler are fantastic as well. They have great chemistry together that drives the film as the story goes from game night scavenger hunt to rescue mission.

Game Night is surprisingly funny and packed with plenty of laugh out loud moments. The “mystery” never gets too complicated and never overshadows the comedy.  The story has some familiar gags but never feels like it’s pulling from other movies for its humor. From the cast’s playful antics to physical comedy, Game Night could end up being one of 2018’s best comedies.

Grade: B+