Game Night is a comedy starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, and it is directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein. The film kicks off with a fun montage that tells the story of how Max and Annie (Bateman and McAdams) met through their mutual love for board games and competitiveness leading all the way up to their wedding day.
If I had any medical experience, I would say it was borderline unhealthy. The montage set the tone for the level of wackiness the audience was in store for. Game night with Max and Annie is a weekly event at their home where they invite fellow couples to join in on the fun. Nothing too raunchy ever happens at Game Night…until Max’s ultra-competitive, super-awesome, much more handsome brother, Brooks, comes into town. That is when Game Night gets a little spicier.
For the most part, all of the actors in this film did a great job for the roles they were playing. This would not be a comedy movie review, however, if I did not mention that Jason Bateman plays Jason Bateman in every comedy that he is in. If you are familiar with Bateman’s work, then you know what you are going to get from him by now. Bateman plays the straight man in every comedy while everyone else around him does the comedy legwork. Do not get me wrong, the guy is great at these types of roles and having him in the film doesn’t hurt, but he does not make the film great either. Rachael McAdams as Annie was fine. Her comedic timing could have been better but overall her performance was serviceable. I would have liked to see a comedian cast in her place.
The Side Characters
I do not know why this is, but Jesse Plemons as Gary, the deadpan robotic-like cop had me laughing constantly. From Plemons very first scene, there is an awkward exchange between Max, Annie, and Gary that had me trying to hold back my laughter. My showing consisted of an audience of three people, and I definitely did not want to be the guy laughing out loud at the corny humor.
Kevin and Michelle (Lamorne Morris and Kylie Bunbury) had an interesting side-plot that added some depth to the thin plot. Kevin and Michelle are high school sweethearts who are madly in love. They seem like the perfect couple, but thanks to the infamous drinking game I Never, Michelle’s sexual past comes into play when she drinks to the statement, “I never had sex with a celebrity.” Kevin fixates on this new-found discovery about his wife for a good third of the film, but the story and the celebrity name that is revealed made for a hilarious payoff.
Ryan and Sarah (Billy Magnussen and Sharon Horgan) were probably the weakest links for me. Ryan is the young and dumb ladies-man, and Sarah is the attractive, smart, sophisticated, and noticeably older, coworker. They were on their first date for Game Night. Unfortunately there just were not many laughs or chemistry whenever the two characters were alone on screen together.
The Game Night Plot
The plot kicks in when Max’s older brother Brooks invites the crew over to his place for game night. From there, Brooks explains that somebody in the room will be kidnapped by “paid actors”. And it will be up to the remaining players to find the person that was kidnapped. Winning gets you the grand prize, Brooks’ sports car. Unbeknownst to everyone but Brooks, real kidnappers burst into the home and kidnapped Brooks; right in front of his guests very eyes. From there, hilarity ensues. As ridiculous as the plot was, it was enjoyable. I found myself laughing throughout at a comedy that did not have to be outrageously raunchy or crass. Game Night is a fun time and I will file this film under the Movies That Don’t Suck category.