Mon | Feb 18, 2019

‘Game Night’ is on

Published:Monday | February 26, 2018 | 12:00 AMDamian Levy/Contributor
Uber competitive gamers Annie (Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams) and Max (Golden Globe Award winner Jason Bateman), in the comedy, ‘Game Night’. Contributed

I never thought I'd see a film about grown adults playing board games, and I never thought it would be quite this funny.

Husband Max, played by Jason Bateman, and wife Annie, played by Rachel McAdams, host a weekly games night with their four friends. When Max's younger, more successful, better-looking and taller brother comes into town, he suggests putting on a games night of his own, with a murder-mystery theme. Unfortunately, he schedules it on the same night that he will actually be kidnapped.

The premise is ridiculous and yet, it's the unbelievable quality that makes it so endearing. You say to yourself, "This is nonsensical ... but let's see where it goes".

 

Consistently funny

 

It takes you on a journey that is consistently funny, with leads Bateman and McAdam, working extremely well together. The rest of the cast is pitch perfect as well. Typically, with an ensemble cast comedy, some characters just plain aren't as funny as the rest, sucking the energy out of the film. Here, everyone comes to play, and wins the crowd multiple times over.

While watching though, I did learn to be careful what I wish for. The film takes things a little too far, and by the third act, it's hard to buy into the movie at all. Still, even at its least believable, Game Night delivers some well-thought-out characters, clever lines and surprisingly intriguing camera work. Game Night is also a reminder that horror and comedy make good bedfellows. Oftentimes a scene will have the atmosphere and pacing of a horror film, only to end with a punchline rather than a jump scare.

Game Night is much like playing a board game. You start out thinking you'll have a bad time, then be surprised at how much you're enjoying it, until you reach a point where you've had enough and wished the whole thing was over 20 minutes ago. I did have a good laugh all throughout the film though, and for that, I recommend that you go see it.